TRACS 202D Nuts and Bolts – Reporting Gender to TRACS

Editor’s note: Jed Graef, Bostonpost Product Manager, provides the latest information on the upcoming TRACS 202D affordable housing industry specification update. For more on the pending TRACS 202D changes, read Jed’s previous post or you can click here for a complete list of Jed’s continuing TRACS 202D coverage.

To stay updated on TRACS 202D, be sure to subscribe to the MRI Watercooler blog.

Among the regulations dealing with affordable housing, HUD’s final rule on Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity — see 24 CFR 5.105(a)(2)(ii) — prohibits inquiries on sexual orientation or gender identity except in limited circumstances. As a result of this ruling, for TRACS 202D, the Household Information Sex field on HUD Form 50059 will allow the user to select the blank space in lieu of M and F if they choose to do so.

Note that the Gender Identity rule does not prohibit reporting sex if the person voluntarily self-reports this information or if an inquiry about gender is based on a need to determine the number of bedrooms a household requires. There are other exceptions to this rule as well.

HUD was also asked how to handle the reporting of gender on the HUD Form 50059 if multiple funding programs are involved and the certification or TIC (Tenant Income Certification) for one of the other funding programs requires an M or F specification.  The answer to this dilemma was to follow HUD rules when reporting to HUD, and follow the other program’s rules when reporting to them.

shutterstock_20142814-resized-600To document these decisions, the two examples below were added to the 202D MAT Guide based on the HUD clarification.

Example 1: In a particular HUD project there is no permitted reason to inquire about gender identity for the sole household member Tonya.  The HUD 50059 would report a blank for that field. However, the tax credit TIC requires an M or F and would be filled with an F.

Note there is nothing in the rule proposed to prohibit any individual from voluntarily self-identifying his or her own sexual orientation or gender identity; however, this voluntary identification must not be confused with any identification requirements for other funding programs.

Example 2: In a particular HUD project there is a need to inquire about gender for a household for the purpose of determining the number of bedrooms to which they may be entitled.  The HUD 50059 and MAT File would contain an M or F for each member. The tax credit TIC would also report an M or F.

Essentially you report to HUD as you would if you had a pure HUD property with no other funding programs involved. When in doubt as to the precise meaning of the regulation, the best course of action is to consult your attorney.

If you would like to learn more, the actual regulation is quoted below:

24 CFR 5.105(a)(2)(ii) Prohibition of inquiries on sexual orientation or gender identity. No owner or administrator of HUD-assisted or HUD-insured housing, approved lender in an FHA mortgage insurance program, nor any (or any other) recipient or subrecipient of HUD funds may inquire about the sexual orientation or gender identity of an applicant for, or occupant of, HUD-assisted housing or housing whose financing is insured by HUD, whether renter- or owner-occupied, for the purpose of determining eligibility for the housing or otherwise making such housing available. This prohibition on inquiries regarding sexual orientation or gender identity does not prohibit any individual from voluntarily self-identifying sexual orientation or gender identity. This prohibition on inquiries does not prohibit lawful inquiries of an applicant or occupant’s sex where the housing provided or to be provided to the individual is temporary, emergency shelter that involves the sharing of sleeping areas or bathrooms, or inquiries made for the purpose of determining the number of bedrooms to which a household may be entitled.

For a more in-depth look at all of the changes coming in 202D as well as links to preview the new TRACS forms, download the Industry Bulletin: Affordable Housing Preparedness for TRACS 202D Modification.


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