HUD Aims to Reverse Protections for Homeless Transgender People Accessing Shelters

Author: The Williams Institute
Published: Thursday 23rd July 2020
Summary: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposed rule aims to revise Equal Access rule which requires HUD-funded housing services to be provided without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today released a proposed rule that aims to revise the Equal Access rule, which requires HUD-funded housing services to be provided without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The new rule, if finalized, would allow homeless shelters to deny transgender people access to single-sex and sex-segregated shelters that align with their gender identity.

"Poverty and homelessness disproportionately impact transgender people, particularly transgender people of color and youth. This rule, if finalized, would negatively impact an already vulnerable population during a period of economic downturn," said Luis Vasquez, Renberg Law Fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. "In addition, the rule authorizes shelters to consider a list of physical characteristics when determining an individual's sex for admission into a sex-segregated or single-sex facility - an approach that could seriously impact people who don't conform to gender stereotypes, even if they aren't transgender."

Key Research

"Research shows that there is a cumulative effect of experiencing multiple minority stressors, such as discrimination, economic insecurity, and violence, which is associated with dramatically higher prevalence of suicide thoughts and attempts among transgender people," said Jody Herman, Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. "This rule may increase minority stress and related health impacts for those who are already facing challenging circumstances."


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