WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia L. Fudge recently announced that HUD is withdrawing the previous administration’s proposed rule that would have weakened the Equal Access Rule. The Equal Access Rule ensures that all individuals – regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity-have equal access to the Department’s Office of Community Planning and Development programs, shelters, other buildings and facilities, benefits, services, and accommodations.
“Access to safe, stable housing-and shelter-is a basic necessity,” said Secretary Fudge. “Unfortunately, transgender and gender non-conforming people report more instances of housing instability and homelessness than cis-gender people. [We] are taking a critical step in affirming HUD’s commitment that no person be denied access to housing or other critical services because of their gender identity. HUD is open for business for all.”
The previous administration refused to fully implement the Equal Access Rule and proposed a rule in 2020 that would have allowed shelter programs and operators to subject transgender individuals to inappropriate and intrusive inquiries, deny them accommodations, and subject them to greater harassment.
HUD stated it has submitted its action withdrawing that rule to the Federal Register, which is expected to publish it next week. This action reaffirms HUD’s mission and commitment to creating inclusive communities and quality housing for all. Excluding any eligible person from HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development funded emergency shelters, temporary housing, buildings, housing, or programs because of a person’s gender identity is counter to HUD’s mission.
Along with this announcement, HUD released technical assistance resources prepared by technical assistance providers to HUD grantees. These resources will support HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development grantees in implementing the Equal Access Rule. Read the Equal Access technical assistance materials for shelter operators here and here.
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