Windy City Times: Quigley, LGBTQ housing advocates meet with HUD Secretary Carson
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U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley ( D-Illinois ), who serves as Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, hosted a meeting with U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson and Chicago LGBTQ housing advocates July 20.
After the meeting, advocates joined Quigley for a press conference at AIDS Foundation of Chicago.
The primary focus of the meeting was on four key asks of HUD:
— Reinstatement of LGBTQ guidelines that were removed from the HUD website.
— A request for HUD to fund of youth homeless projects in Chicago.
— A push to have HUD support tiny home housing and other creative housing solutions to meet the needs of the homeless, housing unstable and those needing affordable housing.
— Given that housing is a powerful tool in the fight against HIV/AIDS, a request to have a set aside for public housing vouchers for people with HIV.
Those attending the meeting to speak on LGBTQ issues were: David Munar, CEO, Howard Brown Health; Channyn Lynne Parker, manager, LGBT youth drop-in center, Broadway Youth Center; Modesto Tico Valle, CEO, Center on Halsted; Tracy Baim, founder, Pride Action Tank; John Peller, CEO, AIDS Foundation of Chicago; Scott Ammarell, CEO, Chicago House.
The meeting was a follow-up from Rep. Quigley's questioning of Secretary Carson during a Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development ( THUD ) Appropriations Subcommittee hearing last year, when he pressed the Secretary on the disappearance of LGBTQ housing resources from the HUD website. Rep. Quigley grilled Secretary Carson on the matter again this March and encouraged him to meet with Chicago LGBTQ advocates for a better understanding of the housing challenges facing the community.
An estimated 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ. According to the 2015 U.S. 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.
Carson was engaged and interactive in the meeting, and said he would followup on the requests, including a required timeline where the LGBTQ guidelines are supposed to be re-posted on HUD's website. Carson also expressed interest in the issues of healthcare outcomes tied to housing, and he was supportive of exploring the tiny home concept and asked for followup materials ( Baim brought a 3-D model of a planned tiny home community for youth that PAT is co-developing with La Casa Norte ).
Channyn Lynn Parker, a transgender advocate, was detailed in her explanation to Carson about the issue of IDs and gender-inclusive housing and shelters for transgender women.
Quigley vowed to continue to pressure HUD to fulfill its promises and mission.