The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued a new proposed rule that will allow providers receiving HUD funding to discriminate and turn away trans and gender non-conforming people from seeking emergency shelter.
In 2012, HUD released the Equal Access Rule, ensuring that all eligible individuals and families could seek shelter regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or marital status. This was a critical step toward protecting a population that experiences massive amounts of discrimination.
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, homelessness among transgender individuals has increased by 88 percent since 2016, and 63 percent of the transgender homeless population is unsheltered—meaning they do not reside in a shelter or in transitional housing. Yet even in the face of this stark reality, the administration has moved to gut the 2012 Equal Access Rule and illegally restrict access to homeless shelters for transgender people.
Your voice is needed to counter these attacks on our trans and gender non-conforming neighbors. Public comments are an important part of the regulatory process, and we need the LGBTQ+ community to speak up in opposition to this harmful proposed rule.
Anyone who needs access to homeless shelters should be able to enter without fear of discrimination. Especially in the midst of a global pandemic, officials should be doing everything in their power to protect people experiencing homelessness, not create barriers to shelter.