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Transgender Housing Protections

By Charlotte Robinson, November 21, 2015
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has announced proposed rules overseeing housing that is federally assisted or insured which would clarify non-discrimination protections for transgender & gender non-conforming people. Rea Carey, National LGBTQ Task Force Executive Director stated, “LGBTQ people & especially LGBTQ people of color, disproportionately experience discrimination in accessing housing & shelter programs & services. In fact, one in five transgender & gender non-conforming people have experienced homelessness—according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey report. The rates are much higher among black transgender people & Latino/a transgender people, of whom 41 percent & 29 percent report experiencing homelessness, respectively. While transgender & gender non-conforming youth represent less than one percent of the general population, a recent study found that 6.8% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as transgender or gender non-conforming. We welcome HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s announcement about an essential policy that will help reduce the experience of discrimination against transgender & gender non-conforming people in HUD programs by clarifying how transgender & gender non-conforming people should be accommodated in shelters & other HUD programs. Notably, the rule explains that discrimination protections apply to people based on actual or perceived gender identity, which includes a person’s ‘appearance, behavior, expression, other gender-related characteristics, or sex assigned to the individual at birth.’ For transgender & gender non-conforming people who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability, these changes are much needed. We look forward to collaborating with HUD on ensuring that the implementation of this amendment is as robust as possible.”
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