Protecting Equal Access for LGBTQ People Experiencing Homelessness
Update 4/21/2021: The US Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge today formally announced that the department has ended efforts to deny critical nondiscrimination protections in homeless shelters for transgender people.
“Access to safe, stable housing-and shelter-is a basic necessity,” said Secretary Fudge in a HUD statement. “Unfortunately, transgender and gender non-conforming people report more instances of housing instability and homelessness than cis-gender people. Today, we are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity. HUD is open for business for all.”
The Trump administration’s proposed rule would enable discrimination against transgender people seeking shelter.
In response to the Trump administration’s proposed rule that would decimate discrimination protections for LGBTQ people, especially transgender and gender nonconforming people at shelters, GLAD has submitted a public comment in opposition.
The administration’s new rule removes federal requirements for shelter access consistent with a person’s gender identity. If implemented it would subject homeless transgender people either to a return to the streets or the risk of violence, harassment or sexual assault in the inappropriate and unsafe shelters they are forced into.
“The Proposed Regulation should be withdrawn because it:
- inflicts profound harm on transgender people who are homeless;
- creates confusion and misinformation about the rights of transgender people to nondiscrimination in access to emergency shelters at both the state and federal levels and, in fact, offers a governmental imprimatur for discrimination that is currently unlawful; and
- is permeated with base stereotypes and unfounded fears about transgender people.
…The Proposed Regulation guts significant protections for transgender people in access to emergency shelters, will increase homelessness, subject transgender people to violence and a host of life-threatening harms, and permits blatant discrimination that is unlawful under current law,” reads the comment.
You can read the public comment in its entirety below.