Washington, D.C. — The Trump administration’s move to undermine protections for transgender people at homeless shelters will cause confusion for providers and place a vulnerable population at greater risk, according to a new column from the Center for American Progress.
Transgender people face persistent social, cultural, and economic barriers due to discrimination that lead to high rates of homelessness. These hurdles include higher unemployment rates, vulnerability to eviction because of their gender identity, family rejection, and interpersonal violence.
Policies that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity—such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2012 and 2016 Equal Access Rules—are necessary to ensure safe and equal access to shelters for people in need. But the Trump administration appears poised to allow shelter providers to create their own policies for access to single-sex or sex-segregated facilities, which could result in shelters denying admission to transgender people on religious or other discriminatory grounds.
“This proposal would let shelters turn away people experiencing homelessness or put them at risk for discrimination and abuse if forced into inappropriate housing,” said Laura E. Durso, vice president for the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress and co-author of the report. “The Trump Administration’s move to undermine the Equal Access Rule’s clear and explicit protections is contrary to the law, will prevent providers from understanding their obligations to serve people equally, and will reduce access to shelter for transgender and nonbinary people, especially those living in nonmetropolitan areas.”
The new analysis finds that among respondents to a nationally representative survey of LGBTQ people, nearly 76 percent of those living in nonmetropolitan areas reported that it would be somewhat difficult, very difficult, or not possible to find an alternative shelter if they were turned away.
Read the column: “The Dire Consequences of the Trump Administration’s Attack on Transgender People’s Access to Shelters” by Sarah Kellman, Laura E. Durso, Sharita Gruberg, and Caitlin Rooney.
For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at gro.ssergorpnacirema@lenanahs or 202-478-6327.