WASHINGTON, D.C.- The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) commends Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and his colleagues for introducing the “Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017.” Joining Senator Kaine as original cosponsors of the legislation are U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (I-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ed Markey (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Corey Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
If enacted, this bipartisan legislation would extend the Fair Housing Act’s protections to those at risk of discrimination simply because of their sexual orientation and gender identity to ensure equal housing opportunity for all. The landmark Fair Housing Act, enacted nearly 50 years ago, protects individuals from housing discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, familial status, or disability. While 22 states, the District of Columbia, and more than 200 local jurisdictions protect LGBT Americans from housing discrimination, the Fair Housing Act does not yet ensure these protections.
Access to safe and stable housing is a basic right, regardless of an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity remains a challenge for those looking for a safe and stable home. Denying individuals and families access to housing because of their sexual orientation or gender identity contributes to homelessness and limits economic opportunity.
This bill is a vital step toward ensuring that all people have affordable and decent homes. Senator Kaine is a long-time defender of fair housing protections, having practiced as a fair housing lawyer for nearly two decades prior to serving in federal, state, and local government. NLIHC commends Senator Kaine for his ongoing commitment to this issue, and is proud to support the “Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017.”
Established in 1974 by Cushing N. Dolbeare, the National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes.