Funders Together to End Homelessness strongly opposes HUD’s recent proposed changes to rules that protect and house individuals and families at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness.
Equal Access Rule
In late May, the Administration proposed to modify the Equal Access Rule which would weaken protections for LGBTQ and transgender people experiencing homelessness and restrict access to crucial services and shelters for these individuals. One in five transgender and non-gender conforming people will experience homelessness at some point in their life and LGBTQ youth are more than two times likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth. Changes to this rule would exacerbate the likelihood of discrimination and create an even more harmful environment to the LGBTQ community.
We believe that discriminating against individuals based on sexual orientation or gender identity is both inhumane and unethical.
Prior to the Equal Access Rule proposal, the Administration proposed to prohibit “mixed-status” families from public and subsidized housing. These families consist of U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents who may have a member that is ineligible for housing assistance due to their immigration status. While these families are currently pro-rated to only provide assistance for those members who are eligible, these proposed changes would instead require the family to remove the ineligible member (which is most likely a parent or income provider) or be evicted from their home. Because of this, over 100,000 people are at risk of being evicted with 55,000 of them being children.
We believe evicting families and children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents from homes and putting them at risk of experiencing homelessness is indecent and illegal.
These proposals are against Funders Together's values in racial and LGBTQ equity. The changes in the rules would mainly affect people of color and LGBTQ individuals, who are already at a higher risk of experiencing homelessness and currently make up a disproportional percentage of the homeless population. In order to end homelessness, we must stop harmful legislation on these communities and instead focus on solutions that center and prioritize them.
Funders Together to End Homelessness stands behind supporting and protecting our immigrant and LGBTQ communities. We call on the Administration to disregard the proposed changes and to work with philanthropy through public-private partnerships to ensure we are creating equitable systems that will end homelessness for all.
Call to Action:
The public comment period on the proposed changes to the "mixed-status" family rule is currently open until July 9, 2019. Funders are encouraged to submit unique public comments on how this proposed change would exacerbate homelessness across the country and set back solutions to housing instability and homelessness.
You can learn more about this proposed rule and opportunities for funders to take action through our recent webinar with Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees: