The Cost of Employment and Housing Discrimination against Transgender Residents of New York
By Jody L. Herman
Employment and housing discrimination against New York’s transgender residents costs the state millions of dollars each year. These costs include public assistance and housing expenditures, and lost income tax revenue. According to population figures from the 2010 Census, 23,800 New York transgender residents are not covered by local ordinances that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other areas. That number reflects 41 percent of New York’s total transgender population.
Anti-transgender bias causes increased homelessness and increases the need for public healthcare coverage when transgender workers are fired because of it. Workplace discrimination costs the state more than $1 million in state Medicaid expenditures and as much as $5.9 million annually in federal and state housing program expenditures. Moreover, if employment discrimination was reduced or eliminated, transgender workers would generate millions more in income tax revenues, in addition to reducing the housing and healthcare costs caused by discrimination.