Equal Access

Equal Access to Housing Final Rule & Equal Access in Accordance with Gender Identity Final Rule

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[companion rules]

The CoC provides information and training about the Equal Access to Housing Final Rule and its companion rule, Equal Access in Accordance with Gender Identity Final Rule. There have been no changes to the rule since last year. A link to the final rule page is here:

Equal Access Housing Rule

There you can find the final rules for both, as well as a brief summary piece entitled: “A message from Harriet Tregoning on the Equal Access in Accordance with Gender Identity Final Rule.” Attached is a notice that must be posted publicly at any program sites. The notice informs participants of their rights under the rule to receive services in accordance with their gender identity. Please share this information with all relevant staff to ensure they are aware of their responsibilities and post the notice.

Overview:Equal Access & Equal Access in Accordance w/ Gender Identity Final Rules:

  • All CPD programs fall under this requirement, which includes CoC, ESG, CDBG, HOPWA, HOME, and Housing Trust Fund.
  • Gender identity is defined as the gender with which a person identifies, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth and regardless of the person’s perceived gender identity. Perceived gender identity means the gender with which a person is perceived to identify based on that person’s appearance, behavior, expression, other gender related characteristics, or sex assigned to the individual at birth or identified in documents.
  • Sexual orientation is defined as one’s emotional or physical attraction to the same and/or opposite sex (e.g., homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality).
  • Admissions, occupancy, and operating procedures must be administered in a non-discriminatory way.
  • Access to services, facilities, benefits, and accommodations is provided in accordance with the person’s gender identity, and the person is not subjected to intrusive questioning or any documentation verifying gender. However, the rule does permit inquiries related to sexual orientation and gender identity for the purposes of providing nondiscriminatory services.
  • Placement into facilities with sleeping accommodations and shared bathrooms are made in accordance with the person’s gender identity, and the program operator must take nondiscriminatory steps to address privacy concerns raised by participants.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Office of Community Planning and Development

Notice on Equal Access Regardless of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, or Marital Status for HUD’s Community Planning and Development Programs

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This [shelter/building/housing/facility] receives funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Department’s (HUD) Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD) and MUST comply with the following REQUIREMENTS:

  • Determine your eligibility for housing regardless of your sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, and must not discriminate against you because you do not conform to gender or sex stereotypes (i.e., because of your gender identity);
  • Grant you equal access to CPD programs or facilities consistent with your gender identity, and provide your family with equal access;
  • MUST NOT ask you to provide anatomical information or documentary (like your ID), physical, or medical evidence of your gender identity; and
  • Take non-discriminatory steps when necessary and appropriate to address privacy concerns raised by any residents or occupants, including you.

If you think this program has violated any of these requirements, including any denial of services or benefits, contact your local HUD office for assistance with alleged violations of HUD program regulations: Boston Regional Office, Thomas P. O’Neill, Jr. Federal Building, 10 Causeway St. 3rd Floor, Boston, MA  02222-1092 PHONE:  617-994-8200 AND FAX:  617-565-6558

If you believe you have experienced housing discrimination because of race, color, religion, national origin, disability, or sex, including discrimination because of gender identity, contact 1800-669-9777 or file a written complaint with HUD at: www.hud.gov “file a discrimination complaint”.  Persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech impairments may file a complaint via TTY by calling the Federal Information Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To better understand HUD’s requirements, the following definitions apply:

  • Sexual orientation means one’s emotional or physical attraction to the same and/or opposite sex (e.g. homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality).
  • Gender identity means the gender with which a person identifies, regardless of the sex assigned to that person at birth and regardless of the person’s perceived gender identity.   
  • Perceived gender identity means the gender with which a person is perceived to identify based on that person’s appearance, behavior, expression, other gender related characteristics, or sex assigned to the individual at birth or identified in documents.