HUD Issues Final Rule Regarding Sexual Orientation and Gender Equal Access

Posted on February 1st, 2012 in Federal Issues, Mortgages By BuckleySandler

On January 30, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a final rule designed to ensure equal access to housing, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status. The rule, which will take effect thirty days after being published in the Federal Register (which publication is likely to occur the week of February 6), will (i) prohibit owners and operators of HUD-assisted housing or housing for which financing is insured by HUD from seeking information from applicants about sexual orientation and gender identity, and require such owners and operators to make housing available without regard to those factors, (ii) prohibit lenders from determining FHA-insured financing eligibility based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and (iii) clarify that otherwise eligible families will have an opportunity to participate in HUD programs, regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The final rule is substantially similar to the proposed rule published in January 2011.