HUD releases memo implementing Biden executive order on discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity
Order based on Supreme Court ruling related to civil rights protections based on sex
February 11, 2021 — The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a memo on the implementation of President Biden’s Executive Order 13988 directing that all federal agencies extend the enforcement of all federal statutes that prohibit sex discrimination to also combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. HUD’s memo directs HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity to enforce the Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The President’s executive order is based on the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v Clayton County which found that prohibitions in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against employment discrimination based on sex extend to and include discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Acting Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity Jeanine M. Worden pledged that HUD will “fully engage our fair housing enforcement, advocacy, and public education effords across the housing market to prevent and combat discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity.”
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) released a statement in favor of HUD’s memo. “No one should be excluded from housing based on who they are or who they love,” said Senator Brown. “I applaud the Biden Administration for taking steps to ensure that HUD is finally carrying out the Bostock ruling’s confirmation that civil rights protections extend to sexual orientation and gender identity. As Chairman of the Senate Banking and Housing Committee, I will work with the Administration and HUD to fully enforce our nation’s fair housing laws.”
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The newsletter has information about National Association of REALTORS® adding hate speech as a prohibited activity, Women’s Council of REALTORS® annual Fair Housing Month Celebration, and an update on MVFHC’s Fair Housing Month Celebration.
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MVFHC and woman living with disabilities file lawsuit against Audubon Crossing
January 14, 2021 — The Miami Valley Fair Housing Center (MVFHC) and Latisha Martin have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the Audubon Crossing Apartments and Woda Cooper Companies engaged in discrimination in violation of federal law.
Ms. Martin has been a resident of Audubon Crossing since April 2019. She uses a power wheelchair for mobility and has limited use of her limbs. Starting in March 1, 2019, Ms. Martin submitted and re‑submitted requests for reasonable accommodation and/or modification but faced repeated denials from Woda Cooper. Installation of a door opener was finally completed in July 2020.
MVFHC assisted Ms. Martin in filing an administration complaint with the City of Dayton’s Human Relations Council (HRC), a HUD-funded Fair Housing Assistance Program. HRC found probably cause that disability discrimination had occurred against Ms. Martin and that MVFHC had diverted resources and had its mission to eliminate housing discrimination frustrated by Woda Cooper’s actions.
The lawsuit asserts that Ms. Martin and MVFHC both merit compensatory damages as well as punitive damages. For more information, read the complete news release.
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