HUD plans to restore ability to provide women-only shelters and services

HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) has announced that it will publish proposed regulations in September 2019 to restore the ability of HUD grantees to provide single-sex emergency shelters and services for people experiencing homelessness and domestic violence. The planned regulation would overturn an Obama administration regulation that required women’s shelters to accept a man’s self-declared claim to “identify as women,” and allow that man to share sleeping rooms, shower facilities, and trauma counseling designated exclusively for women.

In April 2017, WoLF joined with women across the political spectrum, united under the Hands Across the Aisle coalition, to file a legal petition for rulemaking asking HUD to restore the ability of HUD grant-recipients to provide women-only services. For women who have experienced male violence, often the ability to access women’s-only emergency shelters is critical to their ability to recover and rebuild their lives. Women who have been forced to share shelter space with men who claim to identify as women have already in several cases reported sexual harassment and abuse and loss of privacy.

We are cautiously optimistic that HUD has planned to take action on our request, which is of grave importance to women and children everywhere regardless of political or religious affiliation.

If you have not yet done so, it’s not too late to sign our petition.