WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley ( IL-05 ), who serves on the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development ( THUD ) Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after he questioned HUD Secretary Ben Carson during today's hearing. You can watch the exchange here, beginning at timestamp 34:26.
"Last year, Secretary Carson testified before this same committee, where I asked him about important training materials designed to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ individualsdocuments that were inexplicably purged from the HUD website. He assured me during that hearing that those documents were only taken down to ensure that the policies they detailed were effective, and that they would be re-posted 'as soon as possible.'
"Over nine months later, these valuable resources are still missing from the website. Unfortunately, it is apparent that Secretary Carson remains unaware of the housing challenges that many LGBTQ Americans face on a daily basis, and is ill-prepared to address them head-on. The LGBTQ community, and their allies, have the right to know what steps the federal government is taking to support access to safe, affordable, and equitable housing. HUD's answeror lack thereofis unacceptable.
"If Secretary Carson truly cares about equal rights, as he alluded to during his remarks, that assurance must extend to all people, including the vulnerable LGBTQ individuals without a reliable place to call home. If he wants to see and understand this struggle firsthand, I urge Secretary Carson to take me up on my invitation to visit Chicago and meet with the LGBTQ housing advocates leading the charge."
An estimated 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ. According to the 2015 US Transgender Survey, nearly one-third ( 30% ) of transgender Americans have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives, with one in eight ( 12% ) saying they experienced homelessness in the past year because of being transgender.