Join us on Feb. 2nd from 8pm to 4pm in Olympia! Food and transportation will be provided. For more info click here!
LGBTQ Allyship’s 2017 Legislative Priorities
Ban Source of Income Discrimination
Source of Income Discrimination for housing disproportionately impacts seniors, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ and people of color. Landlords can and do refuse tenants housing if their income includes Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8), SSI, HOPWA (Housing Opportunities for Person with AIDS) and other state funded rental support. It means longer housing searches as well as an inability to find affordable housing.
Two –Thirds of Housing Choice Voucher recipients are people of color (Facing Race Report) and low-income LGBTQ people of color are even more marginalized in their housing choices.
LGBTQ Seniors generating less wealth than their heterosexual counterparts means LGBTQ seniors are disproportionately affected by a lack of affordable housing.
LGBTQ individuals are disproportionately low-income – Kaiser Family Foundation in 2013 found that 1 in 3 LGBTQ individuals are 400% of the federal poverty level and the Williams Institute found that LGBTQ individuals experience higher rates of poverty than their heterosexual counter parts.
LGBTQ Individuals have higher rates of disabilities – LGBTQ individuals have higher rates of chronic illness, of HIV/AIDS, depression and anxiety according to the 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation report.
According to Allyship’s 2015 LGBTQ Safety Survey over 1100 respondents identified a lack of affordable housing directly impacts their safety.
· Transgender people have over 4 times the national rate of HIV with transgender people of color experiencing disproportionately higher than their white counter parts. (Injustice At Every Turn Report).
In Seattle the LGBTQ population that was most unstably housed were people living with disabilities, transgender, gender non-conforming and women. (Allyship’s 2015 LGBTQ Safety Survey).
States that have already passed to outlaw Source of Income Discrimination: California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Oppose Anti-Trans Bathroom Bill HB 1011
Why is access to a bathroom a workers’ rights and racial justice issue?
The House Bill 1011 removes gender identity and gender expression from the 2006 Washington State Civil Rights bill. It prohibits transgender and gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals from using private or public bathrooms, restrooms, toilets, showers, locker rooms or saunas that are consistent with their gender identity.
This is an economic justice issue. If employees are unable to use the restroom that matches their gender identity they will not feel safe using the restroom while they work. This bill has the potential to prohibit trans and gender non-conforming individuals from holding a full-time job. Everyone should have the ability to provide a roof over their head, buy food and clothing and pay for other basic needs.
Transgender and GNC individuals are 4 times more likely to have a salary of $10,000 or less than the general population. Overall, trans and GNC are twice as likely to be unemployed and trans and GNC people of color are 4 times as likely to be unemployed. Twenty-six percent of trans and GNC individuals reported losing their job because of their gender identity and 50% reported being harassed at work because of their gender identity. (2011 Injustice At Every Turn report) We should reverse these economic inequities not add on more obstacles and challenges to trans and GNC workers.
This is a racial justice issue. According to the report Injustice At Every Turn, 53% of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals experience harassment in public accommodations and people of color experience harassment and violence disproportionately. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence programs reported that 72% of LGBTQ hate crimes against LGBTQ people were against trans women, and 90% of those crimes were targeted against trans women of color. Restricting access to bathrooms that are consistent with one’s gender identity will disproportionately impact transgender and gender non-conforming people of color.
The civil rights bill that included protections around sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression was passed in 2006. There have not been any significant incidents or complaints in the last 10 years.
Republicans sponsoring this bill – Taylor, Shea, McCaslin, Young, Klippert, Walsh, Haler, Short, Manweller, Hargrove, Pike, Holy, Rodne, Buys.
Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit
A Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit will allow housing providers to bill Medicaid for supportive services provided to eligible residents. This Benefit would help individuals with severe and chronic health conditions get off the streets and into a healthy home.
As stated earlier, LGBTQ communities have higher rates of chronic illness and mental health conditions than the general population. In fact, according to Allyship’s 2015 survey LGBTQ individuals living with disabilities are more likely to be unstably housed.
Supportive housing is an affordable home combined with comprehensive primary and behavioral health services. Supportive housing is a research-proven model that reduces utilization of costly emergency, inpatient, and crisis services and while improving health outcomes. Affordable housing with resident services is not supportive housing. Rather, supportive housing provides a more specialized level of care.
Supportive housing serves people who need services in order to succeed in housing and who need housing in order to succeed in services. People living in supportive housing usually have a long history of homelessness and often face persistent obstacles to keeping their home, such as a serious mental health illness, chemical dependency, physical disability, or chronic medical condition.
This Policy Goal Advances Equity
According to United States Conference of Mayors 2006 Hunger and Homelessness Survey, racial and ethnic minorities are overrepresented in chronically homeless* populations.
- 39% are non-Hispanic whites (compared to 76% of the general population)
- 42% are African Americans (compared to 11% of the general population)
- 13% are Hispanic (compared to 9% of the general population)
- 4% are Native American (compared to 1% of the general population)
In addition, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), at least a quarter to a third of those on the streets have a mental illness or substance abuse disorder. A Medicaid Supportive Housing Services Benefit could play a significant role in providing more permanent supportive housing for vulnerable populations across the state.
* “Chronic homelessness” refers to people who have a disability and have been homeless for a year or longer or have experienced at least four episodes of homelessness in the last three years.