On Saturday the Obama Administration announced historic new federal rules that will strengthen housing discrimination protections for transgender and other LGBT people. The new regulations were announced by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan at the [24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change](http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/01/creating_change_2012.html), and will be officially published this coming week. The new rule prohibits owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The update also clarifies the definition of “family” to ensure that LGBT families are not excluded from HUD programs. “If you are denying HUD housing to people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, actual or perceived, you’re discriminating, you’re breaking the law, and you will be held accountable. That’s what equal access means, and that’s what this rule is going to do,” said HUD Secretary Donovan in a statement. HUD cited [The National Transgender Discrimination Survey](http://www.endtransdiscrimination.org/) showing that 19% of transgender and gender non-conforming people had been refused a home or apartment and 11% had been evicted because of their gender identity or expression. The study also showed that 19% of transgender people have been homeless at some point in their lives, and 29% of those had been turned away from homeless shelters and a majority were harassed when they could get in to a shelter.