HUD Withdraws Equal Access Rule

HUD announced on April 22 it will withdraw the previous administration’s anti-transgender proposed changes to the Equal Access Rule. The previous administration’s proposed changes would have weakened protections for transgender individuals experiencing homelessness and seeking shelter and allow shelter providers to deny admission or access to services consistent with an individual’s gender identity (see Memo, 07/27/2020). This action reaffirms HUD’s mission and commitment to creating inclusive communities and sends a signal that the agency will not engage in federally funded discrimination.

This decision restores most guidance and technical assistance from the 2016 Equal Access Rule to Community Planning and Development (CPD) funded emergency shelters, temporary housing, buildings, housing, and other programs that were designed to ensure they comply with the rule. Along with this announcement, HUD is releasing resources prepared by technical assistance providers to HUD grantees. More guidance and technical assistance will be provided once a review of recent regulations and laws are completed.

HUD was the first agency to implement President Biden’s Executive Order 138988 on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, which ordered directed agencies to fully implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. (see Memo, 02/16). In a call with stakeholders, HUD staff informed us that they will continue to review all of their programs and release more information to ensure protections for members of the LGBTQ community.

“Access to safe, stable housing-and shelter-is a basic necessity,” said HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. “Unfortunately, transgender and gender non-conforming people report more instances of housing instability and homelessness than cis-gender people. Today, we are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity. HUD is open for business for all.”

Read HUD’s press release at: