HUD scraps Trump proposal on transgender access to single-sex homeless shelters

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is withdrawing a Trump-era proposed rule giving federally funded single-sex homeless shelters the choice to house only people whose biological sex, rather than gender identity, matches the sex of the shelter.

The Trump rule, proposed last July, would have rolled back transgender protections included in HUD’s 2016 Equal Access rule, which mandated access to shelter based on a person’s self-expressed gender identity.

HUD submitted the withdrawal to the Federal Register this week, a senior HUD official told reporters in a briefing call Thursday afternoon.

“The proposed 2020 shelter rule that HUD is withdrawing today would have allowed for HUD-sanctioned, federally funded discrimination against transgender people, who already face disproportionately high rates of homelessness and extreme risk in unsheltered homelessness,” the official said.

Thursday’s announcement marked the latest move by HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge to undo policies implemented under her predecessor Ben Carson. Last week, HUD began to reinstate two Obama-era fair housing rules weakened by the Trump administration.

According to HUD, transgender women report being excluded from women’s shelters at high rates. Transgender youth represent 1.8 percent of the youth population, but up to 6.8 percent of unsheltered homeless youth identify as transgender or gender nonconforming, the agency said.

The agency is sending guidance and implementation materials to shelter providers, the HUD official said.

HUD in February said it would begin investigating complaints of housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, making it the first agency to implement an executive order President Joe Biden signed his first day in office directing agencies to “prevent and combat” such discrimination.


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