Democrats blast HUD for removing LGBT language from grant competition

Democrats blast HUD for removing LGBT language from grant competition
© Aaron Schwartz

Dozens of Democrats have signed a letter to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonTrump officials say aid to Puerto Rico was knowingly stalled after Hurricane Maria Yes, President Trump, we do have a homelessness crisis and you're making it harder for us to address New HUD rule would eliminate housing stability for thousands of students MORE urging him to reinstate provisions aimed at helping LGBT people as part of the criteria for a competition to receive grants from the agency.

In 2018, the agency included "Addressing the Needs of LGBT Individuals" as one factor groups seeking a grant from the agency were scored on when seeking the funding. That factor was not included in the 2019 scoring, according to competition guidelines.

The 61 lawmakers who signed the letter dated Thursday also questioned why using a Housing First approach, which prioritizing putting the homeless in permanent housing, was also not listed as something that would be scored in the guidelines.


"We are alarmed by changes made to the ... competition which undermine the successful approach of Housing First and HUD’s historic commitment to effectively serve transgender people experiencing homelessness," the letter from Democrats states.

"These changes invite discrimination and could result in trans people being denied access to critical homeless services, forcing them to remain on the street and putting them at further risk of physical violence and abuse."

The Hill has reached out to HUD for comment.

The letter was spearheaded by Reps. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonCarson defends transgender comments, hits media for 'mischaracterizations' Ben Carson's remarks during San Francisco visit spark backlash Democrats blast HUD for removing LGBT language from grant competition MORE (D-Va.) and Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyOcasio-Cortez mourns Cummings: 'A devastating loss for our country' Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings Omar endorses Sanders presidential bid MORE (D-Mass.), according to a statement from Pressley's office.

The grant competition opened in July and ends Sept. 30.