Advocates Support Equal Access for All in Homeless Shelters

 

Orlando, FL - Advocacy groups and organizations affiliated with homeless facilities denounce the Trump Administration’s proposed rollback of homeless shelter rights and protections for the transgender community and stand together in support of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Equal Access Rule.

HUD Equal Access Rules under the Fair Housing Act of 2012 protect transgender people in their most dire time of need. Weakening the Equal Access Rules and enforcement mechanisms is inhumane and unacceptable. Current federal regulations adopted by HUD requires equal access to housing and homeless services. Under those regulations, sex-segregated homeless shelters must admit all transgender and gender non-conforming individuals and house those individuals according to their gender identity. Thirty local, state, and national organizations stand firm in their commitment to preserving Equal Access Rules and rejecting continued attacks on the transgender community.

“The Trump administration continues to target the transgender community in all areas of society,” said Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s Director of Transgender Equality. “This administration is overtly promoting discrimination of transgender individuals in our schools, the military, health care, and now in access to shelter. It is inhumane and unacceptable to prey upon our most vulnerable in their time of need. Access to shelter is a basic, fundamental human right and a necessity for all Americans.”

These HUD regulations were adopted to address significant barriers that homeless transgender people frequently face in finding shelters that affirm their gender identity. A rollback of these protections would allow operators of sex-segregated programs to develop policies permitting employees to make their own determination of a transgender individual’s sex (using factors such as religious beliefs or sex reflected on official government documents) in deciding whether and how to house transgender individuals.

“One in five transgender people will experience homelessness in their lifetime. It is unconscionable that HUD would initiate policy changes that will lead to higher rates of homelessness and potential loss of life. Equality Florida stands in support of the Equal Access Rule and opposes any federal proposal to weaken its intent. We believe it is HUD’s responsibility to enforce current federal law that protects everyone, not erode it,” added Duncan.

This coalition of organizations stands united in pushing back against the Trump Administration’s discrimination against a marginalized community at its most vulnerable place.

See the full letter in support of the Equal Access Rule here.

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