HUD Memo on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

On February 11, HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) released a memo implementing President Biden’s Executive Order on preventing discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The Executive Order directs federal agencies to assess agency actions taken under federal statutes that prohibit sex discrimination and fully enforce those statutes to include prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a result of the Executive Order, FHEO will begin accepting for filing and investigating all complaints of sex discrimination including sexual orientation and gender identity. FHEO will also conduct all other activities involving the application, interpretation, and enforcement of the Fair Housing Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination to include discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity. The memo also impacts state and local agencies that enter agreements with HUD under the Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) and the Fair Housing Initiative Program.