A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Funders Together Statement on Proposed Rule Changes by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

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.

Mixed-Status Rule

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.

Just like the recent "public charge" policy, funders (including private funders) CAN submit public comments as it does not constitute lobbying under federal tax law.

We encourage funders to use these philanthropy-focused talking points to add to your comments or to incorporate into the comment template by the Keep Families Together campaign.

Download talking points here.

Submit public comments here.


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:

We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

I am thankful for the local partnerships here in the Pacific Northwest that we’ve been able to create and nurture thanks to the work of Funders Together. Having so many of the right players at the table makes our conversations – and all of our efforts – all the richer and more effective.

-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

-Leslie Strnisha, Vice President at Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation

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