Living and aging in our communities without fear of discrimination became closer to reality on July 13, 2015. Coinciding with the White House Conference on Aging was the announcement by the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office. HUD issues guidance to help clarify that the 2012 Equal Access Rule prohibits discrimination in HUD programs based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This rule includes Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly, HUD mortgage and insured programs.
“Every American deserves to live with dignity, regardless of who they love or who they are,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “HUD is committed to fighting unjust discrimination and to expanding housing opportunity for all.”
This guidance and clarification is pivotal following on the heels of marriage equality. For so many older adults who are looking for supportive senior housing and several who may have recently married, this announcement helps to ensure that they can find nondiscriminatory housing in their community.
Over the past several years, SAGE has provided cultural awareness training to many housing providers in the St. Louis Region, including members for the St. Louis City and St. Louis County Housing Authority. With the recent merger and statewide presence as SAGE of PROMO Fund, it is our goal to reach older adult housing providers across the state of Missouri, offering training and technical assistance to help the housing providers meet the guidelines outlined in the HUD Equal Housing Rule.
Points to remember when searching for older adult housing:
• HUD regulations prohibit HUD affiliated programs from asking about your sexual orientation or gender identity.
• Your known or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity may not be used to determine your eligibility and participation in a housing program, HUD insured mortgage program.
• Should you believe discrimination has occurred, you are encouraged to contact PROMO at www.PROMOonline.org and file an official complaint with HUD.
• This ruling does not apply to privately owned and financed apartments, condos, single family dwellings, independent, assisted living, and skilled nursing homes. The passage of MONA is essential to extend nondiscrimination protections in regard to housing, employment and public accommodations.
SAGE of PROMO Fund encourages all older adult living communities to take advantage of our training, technical assistance, and join our information and referral network. For more information you can contact SAGE staff at 314-862-4900 or email Eugene@PROMOonline.org