The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week proposed new non-discrimination protections for transgender and gender non-conforming people.

If adopted, the rule would require sex-specific shelters to house transgender people to their gender identity.

Transgender rights advocates applauded the proposed change.

“Transgender people's live are at risk all over the country today because shelters refuse to house them appropriately,” Lisa Mottet, deputy executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a press release. “This action by HUD advances a common-sense approach that has worked in many communities for over a decade.”

Rea Carey, executive director of the National LGBTQ Task Force, said that the rule change was especially important for LGBT people of color, who “disproportionately experience discrimination in accessing housing and shelter programs and services,” and transgender youth.

“While transgender and gender non-conforming youth represent less than one percent of the general population, a recent study found that 6.8% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as transgender or gender non-conforming,” Carey said.

“We welcome HUD Secretary Julian Castro’s announcement about an essential policy that will help reduce the experience of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people in HUD programs by clarifying how transgender and gender non-conforming people should be accommodated in shelters and other HUD programs,” she said.

The announcement came on Friday, also the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day set aside to remember the victims of transphobic violence.