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Quigley Leads Letter to Secretary Carson on Continued Failure to Review Crucial Nondiscrimination Guidance Documents for LGBTQ Americans in HUD Facilities

Jan 31, 2019
Press Release
Letter Signed by 25 Members Urges Immediate Conclusion of Agency Review to Reinstate Key Guidance

WASHINGTON – This week, U.S. Representatives Mike Quigley (IL-05), who serves as Vice Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus and Vice Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Housing, led a letter to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson on his agency’s ongoing failure to meet the deadline for review of crucial LGBT nondiscrimination guidance documents. You can read the signed letter here or see excerpts below.

“In early 2017, under your direction, HUD removed for review, six resource documents aimed at helping emergency homeless shelters and other housing providers comply with HUD nondiscrimination policies regarding LGBT service recipients,” reads the letter. “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.”

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.

“That 180-day review period expired on September 19, 2018, yet HUD has not issued a final determination as to the relevant documents, nor has it republished the documents in the appropriate locations,” the letter continues. “It is now 2019, two years since the guidance was removed from HUD’s website, and the continued silence from HUD on this issue is extremely problematic. Every day that this guidance is unavailable to housing service providers nationwide puts lives at risk, the majority of whom are young adults, and is a missed opportunity for achieving better outcomes in emergency housing intervention.”

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.

“Housing discrimination in the LGBT community is not a small problem,” the letter concludes. “The guidance in question 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 addition to Rep. Quigley, other signers include Representatives David Price (NC-04), Peter Welch (VT-At Large), Seth Moulton (MA-06), Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05), Jackie Speier (CA-14), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Charlie Crist (FL-13), Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Pete Aguilar (CA-31), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Dan Kildee (MI-05), Tony Cárdenas (CA-29), Max Rose (NY-11), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson (GA-04), Susan A. Davis (CA-53), Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38), Ann McLane Kuster (NH-02), Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Angie Craig (MN-02), Gilbert R. Cisneros (CA-39), and Jerrold Nadler (NY-10).