Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) Executive Director Heidi Marston has released the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) release of proposed revisions to the Equal Access in Accordance with an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs rule:
LAHSA is opposed to the HUD’s recent proposed change to the Equal Access Rule. We believe that all persons deserve non-discriminatory housing, services, and safety.
The proposed changes will allow discriminatory practices towards transgender, gender non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals, who already face rampant discrimination in the rental market as well as in some privately funded shelters.
Transgender and gender non-conforming individuals experiencing homelessness are disproportionately likely to be unsheltered. Just over a third of the national homeless population is unsheltered. Meanwhile, 62% of transgender people experiencing homelessness are unsheltered and 78% of gender non-conforming individuals experiencing homelessness are unsheltered nationwide.
In 2017, LAHSA enacted its own policy: “Equal Access in Accordance with an Individual’s Gender Identity in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care.” This policy requires that every provider and shelter in the Los Angeles Continuum of Care, regardless of funding source, provides a welcoming, non-discriminatory environment to every client in accordance with their gender identity.
Regardless of any HUD rule change, LAHSA will continue to ensure our system remains open to everyone in our continuum of care.
Read LAHSA’s official comment on the proposed HUD rule change for more information regarding its opposition.