Columbia Housing Authority aims to eliminate discrimination with policy change

Nov 5, 2012

The Columbia Housing Authority’s policy will be updated to better comply with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s definition of family. The CHA will define family as any individual or group living together.

This definition aims to eliminate discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and marital status.  Phil Steinhaus, CEO of the Columbia Housing Authority, said the CHA has already based it’s program on the inclusive definition and the text change is just a formality.

“For the Columbia Housing Authority this isn’t a real change for us because we have adopted the city of Columbia’s Human Rights Ordinance and comply with those protections," Steinhaus said. "And those protections also include protections for person's sexual orientation, marital status or gender identity.”

The Resident Advisory Board, which proposed the policy change at a Nov. 1 meeting, will further discuss the amendment as well as the five-year plan of the Columbia Housing Authority at a December meeting.