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This Pride Month, We Celebrate the People and Policies That Ensure Safe, Stable and Affordable Housing for All, Free From Discrimination


Keywords: LGBTQI+, Fair Housing, Demographics, Homelessness, Rental Housing, SOGI Data Action Plan

Message From PD&R Senior Leadership
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This Pride Month, We Celebrate the People and Policies That Ensure Safe, Stable and Affordable Housing for All, Free From Discrimination

Solomon Greene, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Policy Development and Research
Sahian Valladares, Senior Advisor for Outreach and Engagement, Office of Policy Development and Research

Solomon Greene (left) and Sahian Valladares (right).Solomon Greene, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research (left) and Sahian Valladares, Senior Advisor for Outreach and Engagement for Policy Development and Research (right).

As we commemorate Pride Month this year, the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) celebrates the people informing our policies, especially those aimed at creating strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities and ensuring that everyone has fair and equal access to housing, free from discrimination. Our nation is at its best when everyone who calls this country home feels safe, protected, and free to live out their dreams. As a nation, we have made considerable progress toward achieving these goals, but we still have a long way to go. To help us get there, we celebrate the diversity of the PD&R team, and we recommit to working directly with and for the communities who face the greatest challenges to accessing safe, stable, and affordable housing.

Pride Month invites us to honor and celebrate the strides our nation has made to advance the rights of LGBTQI+ individuals in the United States. Under the leadership of President Biden and Vice President Harris, the federal government has moved to combat LGBTQI+ discrimination. HUD and PD&R have played a pivotal role in this effort, helping ensure that LGBTQI+ individuals have access to fair and safe housing, as well as in our work to prevent and address homelessness, especially among LGBTQI+ youth, who are particularly vulnerable.

In 2021, HUD acted quickly and thoughtfully to enforce the landmark Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that workplace prohibitions on sex discrimination include sexual orientation and gender identity. Soon after the Bostock decision, the White House issued Executive Order 13988, Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, which directs every federal agency to assess federal statutes that prohibit sex discrimination and to fully enforce those statutes to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In response to the Bostock case and Executive Order 13988, HUD announced that it would administer and enforce the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination to include discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Bostock decision and HUD’s subsequent actions were pivotal events for LGBTQI+ housing rights, extending protections that ban discrimination in housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The significance of these actions is underscored by findings from several housing discrimination studies, including the first-ever national paired testing pilot study HUD has commissioned, which indicate that same-sex couples and transgender persons in communities nationwide experience demonstrably less favorable treatment when seeking rental housing.

HUD continues to provide evidence-based and data-driven resources to housing providers and local communities to help prevent discrimination against LGBTQIA+ individuals and families, including through our LGBTQIA+ Fair Housing Toolkit on HUD Exchange. Through these efforts, HUD reaffirms its commitment to fostering environments where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can live free from discrimination.

We also are proud of the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Program (YHDP), which specifically addresses the unique housing challenges that LGBTQI+ youth face and demonstrates our commitment to developing policies that are based on data and evidence as well as the lived experience of people who face the greatest barriers to housing. The lessons from YHDP have been instrumental in shaping ongoing policy on homelessness at HUD and other federal partner agencies.

This year, HUD and our partners have heard directly from homeless youth and individuals facing housing insecurity nationwide through a first-of-its-kind LGBTQI+ Youth Homelessness Initiative. The listening sessions that were part of this initiative revealed insights about the challenges, barriers, discrimination, and best practices that inform HUD's ongoing efforts to address homelessness among LGBTQI+ youth and young adults. This invaluable feedback ensures that our policies are not only responsive but also proactive in creating safe, inclusive, and supportive housing environments.

At PD&R, we also recognize the pivotal role of data-driven insights in fulfilling our mission, serving as the framework for informed and effective policymaking. HUD’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) Data Action Plan demonstrates the agency’s commitment and plans to assess, improve, and monitor the health and well-being of LGBTQI+ Americans over time. These data are crucial for developing effective strategies that address the specific challenges that LGBTQI+ individuals face. The SOGI Data Action Plan includes steps to integrate SOGI data into existing surveys and programs, ensure privacy and confidentiality, and use these data to inform policy and practice. Over the past year, HUD has made considerable progress toward fulfilling the Plan’s action items, including updates to data collection, planning, and coordination efforts.

Although these policies are crucially important, we know they would not be possible without the input of the people who shape and inform them. PD&R remains committed to incorporating the insights of people with lived experience of housing discrimination and barriers to housing into our research and our policy development activities. PD&R remains committed to responsible and equitable data collection practices, such as those outlined in our SOGI Data Action Plan, to drive effective and equitable solutions. And PD&R remains committed to celebrating the diversity of our workforce and creating an inclusive working environment, one in which everyone’s identity is respected and perspectives are valued. This Pride Month, we find ourselves inspired by the communities we serve and the people who make up the PD&R team, and we reaffirm our commitment to fair, safe, and inclusive housing for all.

LGBTQI+ is an abbreviation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex. The additional "+" stands for all other identities not encompassed in the acronym. ×

Published Date: 25 June 2024

The contents of this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.