HUD Roundtable on LGBT Bias

by Larry Bush on 03/06/2011

in Merely Rumors

Little known fact: about one in ten San Francisco households lives in a home that receives HUD assistance — either through public housing, assisted housing, Section 8 or other programs. Even more live in homes with FHA insured mortgages. Of course, there is also housing for the homeless, economic development programs like Community Development Block Grants and Enterprise Communities, and more.

Federal law does not recognize sexual orientation or gender identity as a protected civil rights category, but HUD has determined that it can require nondiscrimination in its programs.

The decision didn’t come easy. In 2009, HUD’s own local General Counsel denounced an effort to advertise that same-sex couples could qualify for an FHA-insured homeowner loan, calling it “wishful thinking” and the head of the local office brought up the staff member making the proposal (disclaimer: that would be me, Larry Bush) on charges of insubordination for making the proposal. Eventually those with more sense spoke up (but not before the email exchanges denouncing the effort at nondiscrimination were shared at the White House with a meeting with LGBT officials), and within HUD itself, Assistant Secretary Trasvina undertook a national review to show that a need existed for a formal nondiscrimination policy.

Among those who provided valuable input was the Lesbian Rights Project, with case examples from their work, and the city’s Human Rights Commission, that also provided data on complaints made to that group.

Now Trasvina, who many in San Francisco will remember was a member of the District Elections Task Force that redrew lines for supervisors after the 2000 census, will be in San Francisco to conduct a roundtable to get more input on the proposed new HUD anti-bias rules.

San Francisco is a great place for input, in part because people here are more aware of the issues and in part because of the people who have moved here after facing discrimination elsewhere.

The difference means allowing same sex couples to be housed together in senior HUD housing, to recognize trans individuals in HUD programs, and to recognize the needs of LGBT homeless youth to have safe and secure housing free from harassment.

It’s all good…and it matters that people participate in this process.


HUD Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Urban Development John Trasvina will hold an LGBT Roundtrable Discussion on the proposed rule on Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs at San Francisco City Hall on Wednesday, March 9 at 2:30-4 p.m.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity

John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for
Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity
invites you to the
LGBT Roundtable Discussion on the Proposed Rule on
Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
2:30 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.
San Francisco City Hall, Room 408
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, California

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