WIN: Shelters Must Respect Trans People. Shelter for ALL

Posted: February 20, 2015 in For your information, We fight on

As the temperatures across the country are at all-time freezing lows, and as many in our community are actively suffering from homelessness right now, we are happy to bring you good news. Today, we saw a huge policy breakthrough we’ve been pressing for for years. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued guidance to homeless shelters and other housing programs, telling shelters to honor transgender people’s self-identified gender in accessing housing and programs.

Check out our resource Fair Housing and Transgender People to learn more.

NCTE and other advocates previously worked with HUD to ban all anti-LGBT bias in HUD-funded programs back in 2012-and to clarify that the Fair Housing Act prohibits anti-LGBT bias as a form of sex discrimination back in 2010. But it has still been far too common for shelters to turn trans people away, house them unsafely, or interrogate them about their gender. Now HUD is telling them to stop. The guidance says providers “may not ask questions or otherwise seek information or documentation concerning the person’s anatomy or medical history.”

According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, nearly one in five transgender people (19%) has been homeless due to discrimination or family rejection. A shelter is not a home, and NCTE will continue to advocate for investing in stable, affordable, and supportive housing to end homelessness in the years to come. We applaud portions of the President’s budget proposal which would increase those investments. But today we are thankful that HUD has taken real action to help transgender people who are homeless right now, and who are struggling to find safe shelter.

Do you know someone who is being rejected from the appropriate shelter? Learn what to do with NCTE’s Housing resource.

NCTE will continue to press HUD to firmly secure these protections in all forms of housing through additional guidance and rules, and will continue to press other federal agencies to ensure equal treatment for transgender people in schools, on the job, and in all federal programs.

All of your support over the years made this win possible.


Harper Jean Tobin

Director of Policy



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