Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) introduced the Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017 on June 8 to extend the Fair Housing Act’s protections to those at risk of discrimination because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. The landmark Fair Housing Act 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 people from housing discrimination, the Fair Housing Act does not yet ensure these protections. National surveys, including a study commissioned by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), show that this form of housing discrimination remains prevalent in our nation.
In a statement, NLIHC President and CEO Diane Yentel said, “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. NLIHC commends Senator Kaine for his ongoing commitment to this issue, and is proud to support the ‘Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017.’”
The bill’s 14 original cosponsors include Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Edward Markey (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Read NLIHC’s statement on Senator Kaine’s introduction of the “Fair and Equal Housing Act of 2017” at: http://bit.ly/2rkBwUH
Read more about fair housing and other housing equity issues on NLIHC’s website at: http://nlihc.org/issues/equity
Review HUD’s study on housing discrimination against same-sex couples at: http://bit.ly/2rvgkiM