The Road Home
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The Road Home

What to do if you’re experiencing housing discrimination

Housing discrimination is among the several challenges many LGBTQ+ individuals and families face as they seek housing.

If you believe you have experienced housing discrimination, you may be able to pursue a claim under several laws meant to protect you.

The Fair Housing Act

The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability. A person who identifies as LGBTQ+ who has experienced or is about to experience discrimination based on one of the above seven classifications may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

On its website, HUD provides the following examples of housing discrimination: “A transgender woman is asked by the owner of her apartment building not to dress in women’s clothing in the common areas of the property. This may violate the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition against sex discrimination, which includes discrimination based on non-conformity with gender stereotypes.”

HUD’s Equal Access Rule

HUD’s Equal Access Rule requires that everyone is offered equal access to HUD programs regardless of a person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. Housing providers, including LAHSA’s partners that receive HUD funding or have HUD-insured loans, must adhere to the Equal Access Rule. A person who identifies as LGBTQ+ who has experienced or is about to experience discrimination by a HUD-funded or FHA-insured housing provider or lender may report it to HUD by filing a complaint or contacting a local FEHO office.

On its website, HUD provides the following example: “An underwriter for an FHA-insured lender is reviewing a loan application by two males; both incomes are being used as the basis for the applicants’ credit worthiness. The underwriter assumes the applicants are a gay couple and, as a result, denies the application despite the fact that the applicants meet all requirements for the loan. This may violate HUD’s Equal Access Rule, which prohibits FHA-insured lenders from taking actual or perceived sexual orientation into consideration in determining adequacy of an applicant’s income.”

State and Local Laws Prohibiting Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity

States and local jurisdictions have their own laws prohibiting housing discrimination, often including protections based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Specifically, California prohibits housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. People who have been discriminated against or are about to be based on sexual orientation or gender identity may report those incidents to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing at 213–439–6703.



A blog from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

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