Representatives Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Joe Kennedy III (D-MA), and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI), submitted a public comment signed by 23 senators and 122 representatives to the Federal Register opposing HUD’s anti-transgender homeless shelter rule. The letter urges Secretary Ben Carson to rescind the proposed rule change to the Equal Access Rule that would allow federally funded emergency and temporary shelter providers to turn away transgender Americans (see Memo, 8/3). HUD published its proposed anti-transgender changes to the Equal Access Rule in the Federal Register, with a 60-day comment period that ends on September 22.
The letter details the history of the Equal Access Rule and changes made in 2016 that clarified protections for transgender and gender-nonconforming people by granting equal access to services in accordance with an individual’s self-expressed gender identity. The letter discusses implications of the HUD’s anti-transgender proposal, including its dangers for groups who have disproportionally suffered from homelessness and discrimination. This letter also directly addresses HUD’s justification for the rule change (see Memo, 7/27).
NLIHC, True Colors United, National LGBTQ Task Force, National Housing Law Project, and other national organizations have launched the Housing Saves Lives campaign to oppose the anti-transgender rule. The campaign calls for individuals and organizations to submit public comments opposing this rule and telling HUD that everyone has a right to access federally funded emergency shelters and services free of discrimination. Public comments are most helpful and are more likely to be considered by HUD when they are unique. Advocates can find advocacy tools, resources to help craft your comment, and a direct portal to submit your comment at HousingSavesLives.org. After September 22, HUD is required to consider comments before making the rule final.
The Housing Saves Lives campaign encourages readers to urge local officials, community leaders, and members of Congress to submit public comments opposing this discriminatory policy change to put additional pressure on HUD to respond.
Read the submitted public comment at: https://bit.ly/2EtnKdI
Read the proposed rule at: https://bit.ly/3fVo5DL
NLIHC urges advocates to oppose this rule by visiting www.housingsaveslives.org