HUD to Tackle Gay Discrimination in Housing

Lani Shadduck's picture

A new study by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department (HUD) is currently underway to study discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered community when it comes to landlord and real estate agent treatment. The study is not new. There have been similar studies in 1977, 1989, and 2000 which studied racial discrimination. Chicago, along with San Francisco and New York City will serve as testing grounds.

Federal officials are in the midst of designing the new survey, the first of its kind. They want to gauge how common discrimination against people who identify as gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender really is. There have been a number of lawsuits indicating that discrimination is a common practice.

Thursday marks the beginning of a listening tour in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco where GLBT communities are large. The goal of the tours is manifold. Moderated by HUD’s Assistant Secretary Dr. Raphael Bostic who is also gay, officials hope to ascertain ways of going about the study, i.e., what quesitions should be asked and they want to hear stories firsthand about discrimination.

Currently the Fair Housing Act, a federal initiative that prohibits discrimination in sales and home rentals, does not cover the GLBT community. The hope is to identify problem areas and bring awareness to fix them. This will ensure that the GLBT community have access to subsidized housing without fear of discrimination.

The study indicates President Obama’s willingness to address the GLBT community. In another measure, Obama moved to get rid of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy relating to gays in the military. It’s certainly a step away from previous presidencies and will be interesting to see the results.

Written by Lani Shadduck

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