WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley ( IL-05 ) led Members of the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development ( T-HUD ) Appropriations Subcommittee in sending a letter to Housing Secretary Ben Carson on the missed deadline for review of crucial LGBT nondiscrimination guidance documents. The letter was also signed by Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey ( NY-17 ), T-HUD Subcommittee Ranking Member David Price ( NC-4 ), Representative Katherine Clark ( MA-5 ), and Representative Pete Aguilar ( CA-13 ).
"Housing discrimination in the LGBT community is not a small problem," wrote the Representatives. "An estimated 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT and nearly 30 percent of transgender Americans say that they have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. The guidance provides practical advice for service providers on critical issues, such as proper identification at shelters and other service locations, as well as best practices for achieving gender-inclusive housing that meets the needs of local communities."
In early 2017, HUD removed, for review, six resource documents aimed at helping emergency homeless shelters and other housing providers comply with HUD nondiscrimination regarding Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender ( LGBT ) service recipients. In accordance with Congressional instructions accompanying the Fiscal Year 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Act, HUD was directed to expedite its review and issue a formal decision regarding the reissuance of those resources within 180 days of the enactment of that Act. That 180-day review period expired on September 19, 2018, yet HUD has failed to issue a final determination as to the relevant documents, nor has it republished the documents in the appropriate locations.
"HUD's failure to meet the September 19th deadline is unacceptable," continued the Representatives. "Every day that this guidance is unavailable to housing service providers nationwide puts lives at risk, a majority of whom are young adults, and is a missed opportunity for achieving better outcomes in emergency housing intervention. Now that the deadline has passed, HUD must act immediately to conclude its review of these resources and reinstate this guidance."
After questioning Secretary Carson about the disappearance of these resources in June of 2017, Rep. Quigley invited him to come to Chicago to meet with LGBT advocates and get a better understanding of the housing challenges that face the LGBT community. During the meeting this July, the advocates explained the importance of these guidance documents.