Fair Housing & the LBGTQ+ Community

Posted By: Jennifer McCoy Blog ,

Happy Fair Housing Month!

April is Fair Housing Month!  To “celebrate,” let’s dive into some news you can use!

Fair Housing and the LGBTQ+ Community

On January 25, 2022, President Joe Biden issued an Executive Order requiring protections for members of the LGBTQ+ community as it relates to housing, healthcare, and education.  The Order cites the Supreme Court’s recent ruling that the prohibition against sex discrimination outlined in the Equal Employment Opportunity Act (EEOA) now prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  The president’s Executive Order requires that all applicable agencies, including the Agency for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) disseminate actions consistent with the Supreme Court’s ruling as well as various civil rights laws.  The new Order will result in new regulations redefining the protections of the LQBTQ+ community under the Fair Housing Act.

With this new Supreme Court ruling and subsequent Executive Order, questions are bound to arise, including whether or not a new protected class has been created.  To be clear, a new protected class has not been created; rather, we now have an expanded class of sex.  This new expansion makes it illegal to discriminate against anyone based on their sexual orientation or the gender they are presenting. 

So, What Does This Mean for You?

As we all know, new regulations mean an increase in testing and enforcement by housing advocacy agencies.  This means that for the foreseeable future, multi-family communities will now be under a much stronger microscope.  To avoid any potential liability, housing providers are encouraged to educate themselves about the changes and ensure that all employees are properly trained and prepared to handle any situation that may arise.

Fair Housing Compliance

To safeguard your community against Fair Housing complaints, best practices would dictate that policies are up-to-date and applied across the board.  Accordingly, now would be the time to review your policies and procedures and make any changes necessary to include the new category of sex as defined by the Supreme Court’s ruling and to provide your employees with the proper training.  The best way to avoid Fair Housing complaints is to be Fair Housing compliant!

As always, if ever you have any questions or concerns, consult your attorney!

For more information about the Supreme Court’s new ruling, visit:

https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/17-1618_hfci.pdf  

For more information on President Biden’s Executive Order, visit:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/01/20/executive-order-preventing-and-combating-discrimination-on-basis-of-gender-identity-or-sexual-orientation/