Task Force presents on equal housing in DC

Today, the Task Force participated in the annual fair housing symposium hosted by the Equal Rights Center of Washington, DC. Patrick Paschall, New Beginning Initiative policy advocate for the Task Force spoke on the panel “Expanding Equality”, which focused on the equal housing opportunity concerns of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community and the recently published landmark LGBT anti-discrimination rule in HUD programs. The new HUD rule was announced at this year’s National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, you can read more about the announcement and rule here.

According to results of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (2011), transgender people face high levels of discrimination in housing:

  • 11% were evicted because they were transgender
  • 19% have been refused a home or apartment because they were transgender

Homelessness, and discrimination in shelter services, is also a major problem:

  • 19% report being homeless at some point because they were transgender
  • Of those that tried to access shelters, 29% were turned away entirely

Of those who stayed at a shelter:

  • 42% report having to stay in a facility that did not match their gender identity
  • 55% report being harassed by residents or staff
  • 25% report being physically assaulted
  • 22% report sexually assaulted

Paschall discussed the Task Force publication, Transitioning Our Shelters, which describes the needs of transgender people in homeless shelters, and suggests policies shelter administrators and staff should implement to properly address these needs to make shelters safe for transgender people.