In December, the Housing Opportunities Made Equal Act was introduced with moderate fanfare in an unusually active lame duck session of Congress. Unfortunately, HOME, which would amend the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, source of income, or marital status in the sale, rental, or financing of housing or in brokerage services, stalled as the 112th Congress took hold.
In January, however, HUD did propose new regulations that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in its core housing programs. The regs would clarify, for example, that families otherwise qualified for HUD programs cannot be excluded on that basis and would prevent FHA lenders from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, a primary sponsor of HOME, says his office will reintroduce the bill this session. In the meantime, it’s good to see the administration moving forward on at least one of the issues it was trying to address. (See our interview with Asst. Sec. for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity John Trasviña for more.)