HUD Housing Programs Require A New -More Inclusive- Definition of Family

A new rule (discussed here a little over a year ago) regarding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) core housing programs [rental assistance and home ownership programs, which include HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance programs, community development programs, and public and assisted housing programs] is set to be published this week.

The rule, which will go into effect 30 days after signing, will, among other things, officially change the opening clause to the definition of family in 24 CFR 5.403:

Family includes, but is not limited to, the following, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status [bold and underline by FHC]

(1) A single person, who may be an elderly person, displaced person, disabled person,
near-elderly person, or any other single person; or
(2) A group of persons residing together, and such group includes, but is not limited
to:
(a) A family with or without children (a child who is temporarily away from the home
because of placement in foster care is considered a member of the family);
(b) An elderly family;
(c) A near-elderly family;
(d) A disabled family;
(e) A displaced family; and
(f) The remaining member of a tenant family.

The definition of Household will also receive the “actual or perceived, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status” clarification:

Household means all persons occupying a housing unit. The occupants may be a family, as defined in 24 CFR 5.403; two or more families living together; or any other group of related or unrelated persons who share living arrangements, regardless of actual or perceived, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

The rule,  Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs – Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity, along with a lengthy comment and answer section (from the public and HUD) can be read here in its entirety.

You can read a summary of the rule in a HUD Press Release from January 30, 2012. The press release also mentions the 2007 Study from Michigan’s Fair Housing Centers.

These changes are a great step towards equal housing opportunity for LGBT individuals and families in America.

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