(Washington, DC, November 20, 2015)–Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a proposed rule that would ensure that transgender individuals seeking accommodations in emergency shelters are housed according to their gender identity. Today’s rule amends the groundbreaking LGBTQ Equal Access Rule issued by HUD in 2012 that prohibits discrimination in public housing and HUD’s core housing programs based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status.

Said National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Executive Director Kate Kendell:  “Today, on International Transgender Day of Remembrance, we applaud the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for continuing its work to ensure the safety and well-being of transgender people and their equal access to emergency shelter housing. This day reminds us that transgender people suffer acutely from poverty, homelessness and violence – which are all interrelated. The anti-discrimination protections announced today are an important step in ensuring that all who seek shelter have a safe place to go, a place that will respect them for who they are.”

Added Statement from NCLR Policy Director Julianna Gonen: “Like the 2012 Equal Access Rule that it builds upon, today’s rule continues HUD’s exemplary work in providing equal housing access to a community that is disproportionately affected by poverty, housing instability, and other socioeconomic barriers. We are grateful to Secretary Castro and the rest of the HUD team for their leadership in ensuring not only the safety and security, but the dignity, of all who seek shelter through HUD programs.  We look forward to working with HUD to strengthen the proposed rule to ensure that it provides the fullest possible protection  to transgender and gender non-conforming people who need to access shelter housing.”