Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Fair Housing Protections

Housing discrimination against persons who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and/or Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) violates fair housing laws. With the February 2021 implementation of Executive Order 13988, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will now “administer and enforce the federal Fair Housing Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” further protecting Delaware’s LGBTQ+ residents.

If you are denied an opportunity to buy, rent, finance or insure a home or apartment—or given false information about housing—because of your sexual orientation or your gender identity, you may be a victim of illegal housing discrimination. It is also illegal for landlords or other housing providers to treat current tenants and residents or their guests unfavorably because of the individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

HUD’s Equal Access Rule requires equal access to HUD housing programs, including HUD housing or mortgage programs and HUD’s Native American and Native Hawaiian Programs without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status. The rule also ensures that all individuals have equal access to HUD’s core programs including shelters and other buildings and facilities.

Click here to read more about HUD’s Fair Housing protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender and/or Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) individuals and their families.

Examples & Warning Signs of Discrimination:

  • A realtor refuses to show houses listed for sale to a potential buyer because the buyer is transgender.
  • A landlord refuses to rent to a couple because of the couple’s sexual orientation, or to an individual because of their gender identity, or gender expression.
  • Treating same-sex couples who are married or in a domestic partnership differently from heterosexual married couples.
  • A landlord or employees make derogatory comments about a resident’s or guest’s sexual orientation, including a refusal to respect a resident’s gender identity, pronoun or name.
  • Failing to protect the right of “quiet enjoyment” of rental housing when a resident is harassed or intimidated because of their perceived or actual sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
  • Any advertising that includes a preference for or against tenants based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

HUD Secretary Fudge Affirms Commitment to Fair Housing for All

If you believe you were discriminated against because of your sex, which includes your sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, file a complaint at no charge.