This month, the Human Rights Campaign submitted 365 comments on behalf of its members to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in response to a proposed rule change that would provide increased protections for transgender people seeking emergency shelter and temporary housing. This rule would formalize guidance published early last year requiring that all programs that receive funding from the Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) ensure placement in housing consistent with a client’s gender identity. The rule, does, however, allow the housing provider to consider the health and safety of the individual seeking shelter when making housing decisions.
HRC members’ comments supported the proposed rule change and urged HUD to clarify that alternative accommodations should be made available to a transgender shelter-seeker only at their request as no one should be forced to choose between using inappropriate facilities and returning to the street.
HRC has consistently raised the important issue of equal access to HUD programs on the basis of gender identity with the Department and has called on HUD to adopt non-discrimination protections in emergency housing. This proposed rule change is a critical step towards ensuring that transgender people have access to appropriate facilities when they need them the most.