South King County housing crisis acutely hits the LGBTQ+ community

Group, local politicians to release report Nov. 15

  • Wednesday, November 13, 2019 2:51pm
  • News
Courtesy Photo

Courtesy Photo

City of Kent and King County politicians will join a LGBTQ group on Friday to release a report about how the housing crisis continues to displace and discriminate against LGBTQ+ residents.

LGBTQ Allyship, a Seattle-based social and economic justice organization, will release a housing report it led at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15 at the city of Kent Centennial Center, 400 W. Gowe St.

“This represents the first LGBTQ+ led housing report in South King County and sheds light on experiences from our community that often are overlooked,” said LGBTQ Allyship Executive Director Debbie Carlsen in a press release. “It’s important that communities most impacted are directing LGBTQ+ housing solutions in South King County and it’s clear that vulnerable queer and trans residents are not being served well in South King County.”

Kent City Council members Satwinder Kaur and Brenda Fincher as well as King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, whose District 5 includes parts of Kent, will be at the event to share highlights of how rising housing costs impact LGBTQ+ residents and recommendations for housing solutions. Leaders from the South King County LGBTQ+ Housing Committee and report participants also will attend.

“The results from the South King County LGBTQ+ Housing report is surprising and disturbing,” Kaur said. “We as City Council members must ensure all of our residents are protected from discrimination and receiving the services and support that they deserve to thrive in healthy, safe and affordable communities.”

LGBTQ Allyship has been working to address the influx of LGBTQ+ residents from Seattle to South King County over the last several years. Seattle’s housing crisis continues to displace LGBTQ+ people of color and low to moderate income families, according to the press releases. The impact of LGBTQ+ displacement is social isolation, invisibility, lack of culturally competent services, increased homelessness and housing insecurity and a lack of safety. This groundbreaking report sheds light on the voices, experiences and impacts of LGBTQ+ people of color, trans and low-income residents.

“If LGBTQ+ communities are not being reached out to around housing services and affordable housing opportunities in South King County, it puts vulnerable LGBTQ+ populations at risk of being homeless,” said Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Auburn. “We can do better in South King County and statewide.”

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