Public Comment Period Open for 60 Days
WASHINGTON – November 23, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced its proposed “Equal Access in Accordance with an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs Rule (Gender Identity Rule).” The proposed Gender Identity Rule was created after reviewing and monitoring the implementation of HUD’s Equal Access to Housing in HUD Programs Regardless of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity Rule (Equal Access Rule), which was published in 2012. The Equal Access Rule ensures that housing assisted or insured by HUD is open to all eligible individuals and families without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.
“A person seeking shelter is already in a very vulnerable situation, and they deserve to be treated with dignity when they request our assistance,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “This rule takes us one step closer to full acceptance of transgender men and women, and will ensure they receive the proper services that respect their identity.”
Based on its evaluation of the Equal Access rule and consultation with LGBT stakeholders, HUD’s proposed Gender Identity Rule would require recipients and sub-recipients of assistance from HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD), as well as owners, operators, and managers of shelters, buildings, and facilities with shared sleeping quarters or shared bathing facilities to provide transgender persons and other persons who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth with access to programs, benefits, services, and accommodations in accordance with their gender identity.
HUD’s 2012 Equal Access Rule provided a limited exception for inquiries about the sex of an individual to determine eligibility for housing provided or to be provided to an individual when the housing is a temporary, emergency shelter that involves the sharing of sleeping areas or bathrooms, or inquiries made for the purpose of determining the number of bedrooms to which a household may be entitled. Upon HUD’s review of that policy, the proposed Gender Identity Rule would eliminate the Equal Access Rule’s current prohibition on inquiries related to sexual orientation or gender identity, while maintaining the prohibition against discrimination on those bases.
For more information about the proposed Gender Identity Rule, please visit www.hud.gov/lgbt
This proposed rule will be open for public comment for the next 60 days. Interested persons may submit comments electronically by clicking here. Comments may also be submitted by mail to the Regulations Divisions, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7thStreet SW, Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410.
Since 2010, HUD has taken significant steps to strengthen protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals and their families, such as adopting the principle that sex stereotyping and gender nonconformity is sex discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, adopting the requirement that applicants for competitive HUD funds must be in compliance with state and local LGBT nondiscrimination laws, releasing a groundbreaking study on same-sex housing discrimination, and pursuing complaints under the Equal Access Rule.