by: Lea Gnoy
As an extension of my last blog, a discussion about the political advances in the transgender community, I want to discuss the improvements in housing for LGBTQ individuals. While this seems like a very small area of improvement for me to zone in on, I feel that any type of improvement for a community that has faced (and is still facing) so much discrimination and systemic barriers is important to celebrate.
Housing is a significant part of the mental and physical well-being of a person; an individual’s housing issues can be very detrimental to their health. Unfortunately, LGBTQ individuals, especially youth, transgender people, and people of color, experience high rates of homelessness and housing instability. To make progress in this area, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has taken crucial steps to protect members from the LGBTQ community from housing discrimination. One of HUD’s first political actions has to do with the 1968 Fair Housing Act that banned anti-LGBTQ injustice. The HUD sent out a report that expanded that act to broaden the protections that LGBTQ individuals receive. This memorandum extended beyond the housing individuals that receive HUD funding, and instead applied to everyone. This action reduces the possibility of discrimination in the housing market against LGBTQ individuals.
Another one of HUD’s political actions occurred in March 2021. The HUD withdrew a Trump Administration proposed order that attempted to nullify a rule placed in 2016 that “requires same-sex shelters that receive HUD funds to accommodate trans individuals in accordance with their gender identity” (Zane, par. 25). Due to HUD’s defiance, the 2016 rule stayed in place, allowing transgender individuals to continue to receive shelter in congruence with their gender identity. This reduces the amount of unsheltered members of the LGBTQ community because at least 41% of transgender individuals have reported that they were denied shelter due to their gender identity or expression. Even though LGBTQ individuals are still facing discrimination that they do not deserve, the political world has been making advances that can lead to even greater progress in the future.
| By Ali Zane, et al. “For LGBTQ People, Recent Anti-Discrimination Advances Could Lessen Barriers to Economic Inclusion.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 29 June 2022, https://www.cbpp.org/research/poverty-and-inequality/for-lgbtq-people-recent-anti-discrimination-advances-could-lessen.