Discrimination Against Transgender Residents Costs New York Million Each Year

For Immediate Distribution
May 7, 2013

Laura Rodriguez, lrodriguez@rabengroup.com, (310) 956-2425
Donald Gatlin, dgatlin@rabengroup.com, (202) 821-7923

LOS ANGELES—  Employment and housing discrimination against New York’s transgender residents costs the state millions of dollars each year, according to a new study by Williams Institute Peter J. Cooper Public Policy Fellow and Manager of Transgender Research, Jody L. Herman. These costs include public assistance and housing expenditures, and lost income tax revenue.

“Discrimination harms individuals, but is also costs the state,” Herman explains. “New York would not only protect individuals by passing a state-wide anti-discrimination statute, it could also reduce the costs associated with discrimination.”

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. In the study, Herman shows that taking measures to reduce discrimination against New York’s transgender population, such as a broad state-wide anti-discrimination statute, would have a positive impact on the state’s budget.

Anti-transgender bias causes increased homelessness and increases the need for public healthcare coverage when transgender workers are fired because of it. Herman shows that such 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.

Click here for the full study.