Housing and Urban Development Department Moves to End Transgender Protections in Homeless Shelters

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has moved to end protections for homeless transgender people by allowing agency-funded shelter providers to consider a person’s gender in determining admission, Politico reports. The proposal, released Wednesday, states that shelters “may establish a policy, consistent with state and local law, by which such Shelter Provider considers an individual’s sex for the purposes of determining accommodation[.]” The new rule would roll back an Obama-era requirement that single-sex shelters getting HUD funding provide equal access “in accordance with an individual’s gender identity.” A HUD spokesperson told Politico the proposal was aimed at giving shelters more flexibility in admission decisions for those who might “misrepresent” their gender to “sex-specific shelters.” A day before the proposal was released, HUD Secretary Ben Carson said he was not anticipating any changes to the Obama-era Equal Access Rule while being questioned by Congress. “The announcement today that HUD will now allow anti-trans discrimination in shelters demonstrates that he either lied to Congress or has no idea what policies his agency is pursuing,” Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) told Politico.