Mayor London N. Breed today announced the launch of a new program to provide low-income transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) people with housing subsidies. Our Trans Home SF will soon begin providing housing subsidies as part of a two-year pilot program. Beginning next month, at least 55 households will receive a monthly subsidy to help pay their rent.
“The ongoing housing crisis in our City continues to impact our most marginalized communities, including members of our trans community who are eighteen times more likely to experience homelessness,” said Mayor Breed. “Meanwhile, the community continues to be under constant attack by the Federal Administration which is attempting to legalize discrimination and erase transgender people. The Our Trans Home SF program is a vital step forward in ensuring our trans community is housed, safe, and can thrive in San Francisco. As we work to end homeless in our City, we must also work to keep people housed and this program will help us do just that.”
Transgender and gender non-conforming people are eighteen times more likely to experience homelessness than the general population. The goal of this housing subsidies pilot program is to close the gap between the amount of rent a landlord charges and what a household can afford. Housing stability case managers will provide assistance with the initial housing search and landlord recruitment. They will also work to ensure households have the support they need and are connected to community resources so they can stabilize and maintain housing.
“This year we learned that one out of two transgender San Franciscans have experienced homelessness,” said Clair Farley, Director of the Office of Transgender Initiatives. “We are grateful to Mayor Breed and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development for their steadfast commitment to support trans-led programs and their partnership to help end trans homelessness. The innovative Our Trans Home SF housing program will bring us closer to our goal and ensure that our trans community has a safe place to call home.”
The Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development (MOHCD) issued a Request for Proposals for providers to operate the housing subsidy pilot program and received proposals from providers on September 20, 2019. MOHCD reviewed the proposals and has awarded $1.15 million annually for two years to St. James Infirmary and Larkin Street Youth Services. St. James Infirmary will manage the referral process and provide the housing stability case management. Larkin Street Youth Services will administer the housing subsidies to low-income TGNC San Franciscans.
“MOHCD has long recognized the strength and resilience of the transgender community as it has dealt with years of continuous oppression, and we are eager to lend our support through the provision of this unique program designed to provide the community much-needed housing stability,” said Brian Cheu, Director of Community Development, MOHCD.
“St. James Infirmary is honored to be the leader in the Our Trans Home SF initiative partnering with Larkin Street Youth Services to find housing for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals,” said Toni Newman, Executive Director of St. James. “As a trans-led nonprofit, we are excited to provide housing to a very marginalized community in San Francisco. Housing is a key component for transgender people living in San Francisco to be whole and able to flourish and thrive. Our mission at St. James Infirmary is to provide nonjudgmental health, social, behavioral and housing services to the TGNC community.”
“We are thrilled to be in partnership with St. James Infirmary to support the administration of housing subsidies for transgender individuals, including young people,” said Sherilyn Adams, Executive Director of Larkin Street Youth Services. “We are grateful that Mayor Breed has prioritized this population when, quite literally, their lives are at risk every day.”
The City budget for Fiscal Year 2019-20 and 2020-21 includes $2 million for trans housing subsidies and $300,000 for trans housing stability case management. The program is projected to serve at least 55 households and provide $560,000 in direct financial assistance per year. These investments will prevent eviction and stabilize tenancies for some of the City’s most vulnerable residents.