The Transgender Law Center is celebrating the announcement made by the Obama Administration that new federal rules will strengthen the protections that trans people have with regards to housing discrimination. “The new regulations were announced by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan at the 24th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, and will be officially published this coming week.”
Secretary Donovan stated “Today, I am proud to announce a new Equal Access to Housing Rule that says clearly and unequivocally that LGBT individuals and couples have the right to live where they choose.”
Masen Davis, the Executive Director of TLC stated “This is a huge victory for transgender Americans and their families who deserve equal access to affordable housing, and who, as a community, face higher rates of homelessness and poverty. Having a home is fundamental to being able to care for yourself and your family. We extend our deepest thanks to HUD for working to create strong, sustainable, and inclusive communities. We hope other federal agencies will follow-suit, and put an end to discrimination.”
According to the TLC press release:
The new rule prohibits owners and operators of federally-funded or federally-insured housing, as well as lenders offering federally-insured mortgages, from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The rule also clarifies the definition of “family” to ensure that LGBT families are included in all HUD programs.
Danny Kirchoff, Client Advocate, added “At Transgender Law Center we often hear from people who are experiencing discrimination in housing. These new rules will strengthen our ability to assist transgender people in advocating for their basic human rights and it will reassure them that our government has their back. This is about giving people the dignity and respect we all deserve.”
In announcing the draft rules early last year, HUD cited The National Transgender Discrimination Survey conducted by NCTE and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, showing that 19% of transgender and gender non-conforming people had been refused a home or apartment and 11% had been evicted because of their gender identity or expression. The study also showed that 19% of transgender people have been homeless at some point in their lives, and 29% of those had been turned away from homeless shelters and a majority were harassed when they could get in to a shelter.
The new rule will be officially published this coming week and will take effect 30 days later.