The military’s infamous “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy has been repealed for over four months, outlawing exclusion and discrimination against LGBT populations in the military service. When seeking housing, however, LGBT populations across the country still face arbitrary prejudices and inequality.
That’s why on Jan. 28, Shaun Donovan, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, spoke to nearly 3,000 LGBT rights advocates at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s 24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Baltimore, Md., announcing a new policy to combat discrimination against LGBT people in federally supported housing programs.
The policy will assist LGBT individuals and their families apply for loans and take advantage of federal assistance programs. Owners and operators of HUD-funded housing are specifically prohibited from inquiring about an applicant’s sexual orientation or gender identity or discriminating on that basis.
“Today, I am proud to announce a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose. This is an idea whose time has come,” Donovan said during the conference.
According to a 2011 report from the National Center for Transgender Equality, 19 percent of survey respondents said they were refused a home or an apartment because of their gender identity or expression.
Access the HUD’s full version of the policy here.