HUD Combats Discrimination

November 06, 2009
IN recent years, state and local governments have enacted laws to combat discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people seeking mortgages and housing. Now the federal government is poised to do the same with regulations that would cover loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration.
     The new initiative was welcomed by legal advocates, who say that so far, laws have largely failed to address the issue adequately. Some in the mortgage industry, meanwhile, contend that such discrimination is rare.
     In an announcement last month, Shaun Donovan, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said that his staff would soon propose a rule that would specify, among other things, that any F.H.A.-insured mortgage must be based on the creditworthiness of a borrower and not on unrelated factors like sexual orientation.