Human Rights Campaign
(Black PR Wire) WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it would be rescinding a Trump-era proposal to gut the Equal Access Rule. The 2016 Equal Access Rule explicitly prohibits discrimination in HUD-funded housing and programs on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, the rule provides inclusive definitions for families, and makes clear that individuals seeking emergency housing cannot be turned away because of their gender identity and have a right to be housed safely and in accordance with their gender identity. In 2020, the Trump Administration issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would have drastically undermine protections for transgender and gender non-conforming people served by HUD programs by equipping emergency shelters with ways to turn away transgender and gender non-conforming people. The 2020 rule was not finalized before the end of the Trump administration.
The Trump Administration left a long legacy of devastating attacks on trans Americans and their families, and we praise Secretary Fudge’s leadership in taking necessary steps to preserve and implement the Equal Access Rule. LGBTQ people, especially those from communities of color, already face discrimination at unacceptably high rates. Trans and non-binary people are significantly more likely to be experiencing homelessness, and consequences from that experience, especially for young people, can last a lifetime. Safe housing is an essential right for every American, no matter their gender identity, and we celebrate HUD’s decision to preserve and implement the Equal Access Rule and protect trans lives across our country.
Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President
David testified to Congress about discrimination in housing in 2019, and the Human Rights Campaign has long fought to secure housing rights for trans and non-binary people.
Most recently, the Human Rights Campaign called for the restoration of the 2016 Equal Access Rule, including the provision in its post-election Blueprint for Positive Change. In addition, as part of the Blueprint for Positive Change, the Human Rights Campaign has called for HUD to:
- Restore Disparate Impact Regulation
- Restore Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Regulation
- Engage in Outreach to LGBTQ Youth Centers to Connect Youth to HUD Services
- Expand Outreach to Homeless LGBTQ Veterans
A 2020 study by The Williams Institute reported that 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, nearly nine times the estimate of LGBTQ-identifying adults in the United States. Nearly a third of transgender and non-binary people experience homelessness during their lifetime, including half of those who are Black, Middle Eastern, Multiracial, and/or undocumented immigrants.