HUD: Proposed new rule requires transgender people to be treated as their identified gender rather than their sex assigned at birth
HUD Secretary Julián Castro has announced the agency has proposed a new rule to update the existing policy that bars discrimination against LGBT people seeking public housing or housing assistance from the federal government.
Under the new proposal HUD would provide access to housing and services based on a person's gender, not sex assigned at birth.
A person seeking shelter is already in a very vulnerable situation, and they deserve to be treated with dignity when they request our assistance.
This rule takes us one step closer to full acceptance of transgender men and women, and will ensure they receive the proper services that respect their identity.
The rule would have the most impact on sex-specific shelters, which would have to house transgender people based which sex they identify with, not the sex they were born as. For clarity, a transgender woman would be housed in a women’s shelter, not a men’s one. A 2011 study on transgender discrimination found that while one third of transgender people seeking asylum in homeless shelters were denied because of their gender identity, about 42% were housed in shelters that did not align with their sex. While in the shelters, people reported being subjected to harassment, violence, and sexual assault.
Transgender people’s lives are at risk all over the country today because shelters refuse to house them appropriately, This action by HUD advances a common-sense approach that has worked in many communities for over a decade.
--Lisa Mottet, National Center for Transgender Equality
Of the 1.6 to 2.8 million homeless youth on the street, about 20 to 40% are LGBT, even though they make up between 5 to 10% of all youth.