As expected, HUD’s proposed modifications to the Equal Access Rule are as discriminatory and transphobic as the announced proposal from two weeks ago. Tomorrow, HUD will publish a notice in the Federal Register that reverses the 2016 portion of the rule that requires homeless service providers to accommodate individuals seeking shelter according to their gender identity, not limited by their biological sex. HUD speciously justifies these changes on the basis that the 2016 rule is inconsistent with the Fair Housing Act does not allow for local variations in anti-discrimination policies concerning transgender people; burdens service providers who do not recognize transgender individuals gender identities; creates privacy concerns for cisgender shelter residents and is financially burdensome for providers.
HUD’s stated reasons for making changes to the 2016 rule belie a desire to institutionalize highly discriminatory practices in emergency shelter management. The notice offers no credible scientific research to support its many claims about transgender individuals, nor does it describe any reasons why changes are needed to the 2016 rule beyond a very transparent interest in creating additional barriers to shelter access for an already vulnerable group of individuals. HUD’s proposed modifications would in fact make the Equal Access Rule inherently unequal.
CLPHA issued a statement on July 2 condemning this transphobic new rule and our comments on the rule will once again express our strong opposition to this discriminatory policy.
Comments are due on September 23. For questions about the notice, contact Research & Policy Manager Emily Warren at firstname.lastname@example.org.