In a recent survey of 6,450 transgender and gender non-conforming persons, 19 percent reported having been refused a house or an apartment because of gender identity, and 19 percent reported having been homeless because of gender identity. Findings of a 2007 Michigan study indicate that same sex couples face bias and discriminatory treatment based on sexual orientation when trying to access rental housing.
Recognizing these issues and utilizing its authority to promote decent housing and a suitable living environment for all, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has taken important steps over the past two years to ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons have equal access to housing and HUD programs.
To get the word out, HUD designed and implemented Live Free, a national media campaign to raise awareness about housing discrimination. Live Free includes digital videos, podcasts, Facebook postings, and print ads targeted to specific populations, including the LGBT community. To view the LGBT Live Free ads, click here.
More needs to be done to address LGBT housing discrimination in the United States. If you have ideas on what else HUD can do, send us an email at LGBTfairhousing@hud.gov.
Kenneth J. Carroll is Director of the Fair Housing Assistance Program Division at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.