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Community Solutions Opposes Changes to the Equal Access Rule

HUD's changes to the Equal Access Rule would limit safe shelter options for the LGBTQ+ community
  |  September 11, 2020
  • In solidarity with the Housing Saves Lives coalition, Community Solutions submitted a letter urging HUD to immediately withdraw its current rule change on the Equal Access Rule.
  • Preserving and enforcing the Equal Access Rule is critical to ensure the safety of transgender people in need of shelter.
  • During a global pandemic is not the time to limit access to safe housing options

This week, Community Solutions submitted formal comments to the federal register outlining our opposition to the proposed changes to the Equal Access Rule. 

In July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officially announced its proposed changes to its Equal Access Rule, which would severely limit transgender and nonbinary adults and youth from accessing safe shelter options. More specifically, this change would allow shelters and housing providers to discriminate against people seeking shelter based on their gender identity by creating their own policies for determining someone’s sex.

In solidarity with our national partners and the Housing Saves Lives coalition, Community Solutions urged HUD to immediately withdraw its current rule change and dedicate its efforts to mitigating the current effects that COVID-19 has had on housing stability, for not only the LGBTQ+ community but for all at-risk communities. Our comments focused on:

  • Equity must be at the core of federal policy in order to create a lasting end to homelessness. Access to shelters for transgender people must be included.
  • Preserving and enforcing the Equal Access Rule is critical to ensure the safety of transgender people in need of shelter.
  • Weakening the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s protections for transgender people seeking safe shelter will hinder our ability to solve homelessness.
  • Limiting access to safe shelter during a global pandemic is cruel, dangerous, and even life-threatening

Organizations and individuals have until September 22 to submit comments through the federal register to oppose weakening the Equal Access Rule. 


COVID-19 reaffirmed that everyone deserves a safe, permanent home and lawmakers have the tools to make this a reality. Call upon your local, state, and federal lawmakers to ensure that our homeless response leaders have the resources, tools, and support they need to protect themselves, as well as those they serve. And work toward a lasting end homelessness in your community.


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