Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Contacts:  Nancy Kenyon, Executive Director, 457-5025

On March 5, 2012, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) individuals will be protected from housing discrimination under a new federal Rule posted by HUD, announced Fair Housing of Marin.

The new rule “Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity” ensures that housing assisted or insured by HUD must be made available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.  The rule applies to FHA-insured loans and to HUD’s Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs, both popular programs in Marin County.

California led the nation when it included discrimination based on sexual orientation in its Fair Housing law.  Accordingly, Fair Housing of Marin has assisted LGBT Marin residents for more than two decades.  Some examples of the discrimination victims we have helped:  the gay man evicted from an apartment with his partner after the owner learned that one of them was HIV positive. A gay couple not allowed to move to a smaller one bedroom apartment: the Manager asked how they would “manage”.  An apartment complex owner said that she would not rent to 3 men, one a minister with a child, because they might give AIDS to others in the complex.

Dan Nackerman, Marin Housing Authority Director, applauded the new HUD Rule:  "Marin Housing Authority has accepted partners as the equivalent policy definition of a married couple for many years. However, this Rule gives us more power to prevent possible discrimination by the more than 1,400 private landlords we pay each month."

Paula Pilecki, Executive Director, Spectrum LGBT Center, commented: “It’s difficult for Marin residents to imagine the level of housing discrimination that occurs in this county. Thanks to our colleagues at Fair Housing of Marin, this injustice continues to be proactively addressed. And now, thanks to the leadership of HUD secretary Shaun Donovan, the federal government will no longer tolerate discrimination directed toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals who seek FHA-insured loans or public housing. Does it happen here? Yes. Will it continue to happen? Not on our watch.”

Individuals who suspect discrimination in their housing should call Fair Housing of Marin and visit their website, www.fairhousingmarin.com.