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US Initiatives on LGBT Housing, Elders

By Paul Schindler - Gay City News

Thursday, October 29, 2009

US Initiatives on LGBT Housing, Elders

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced a series of steps aimed at ensuring that federal housing programs do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and that the federal government improves its knowledge base about discrimination the community faces.

In an October 21 release, Secretary Shaun Donovan announced that the definition of family under federal housing programs would be expanded to include LGBT couples and their children, that their regulations would abide by state and local nondiscrimination protections, and that all FHA loan evaluations would be carried out free of discrimination.

“The evidence is clear that some are denied the opportunity to make housing choices in our nation based on who they are, and that must end,” Donovan said.

The secretary promised to “fast-track” the department’s study of anti-LGBT discrimination nationwide.

Also on October 21, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the creation of a national resource center to help community-based service organizations understand the unique needs and concerns of older LGBT individuals and assist them in implementing appropriate programs. The department’s release noted that expert estimates of the number of LGBT Americans range from 1.5 to 4 million.

Michael Adams, executive director of Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), said, “this resource center is a truly historic recognition of the needs of LGBT older adults across the country and will make a huge difference in the lives of so many seniors. For too long, programs that serve LGBT older people have been ignored and shut out from most public funding.”

Link: Original Article