Wednesday, October 18, 2017

We signed! Working for housing solutions in 2018

Housing policy priorities focus on preventing homelessness, creating affordable homes and new options, and making rental housing more accessible


We experience it with our Supported Living program for adults with developmental disabilities, and every week we help families struggling to maintain it.

Lack of stable, affordable housing is pervasive in King County, and when it intersects with developmental disabilities, race and culture it becomes a huge issue for our community.

At The Arc of King County, we hear about inadequate supply and rising rents, housing instability and homelessness, suspected discrimination because of disability, and lack of options for adults with developmental disabilities.

We work with the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance to tackle some of these issues and sit on its public policy committee. That group recently finalized its 2018 legislation platform and The Arc of King County just signed on.

The 2018 housing alliance platform includes:
  • Secure significant funding for the Housing Trust Fund.
  • Secure and increase funding for programs that prevent and end homelessness.
  • Fund services to help people with disabilities and experiences of long-term homelessness access permanent supportive housing.
  • Outlaw discrimination against renters based on the use of rental or income assistance.
  • Protect state rental and income assistance for disabled, elderly, and extremely low-income adults.
Within the developmental disabilities community, we are also asking for a set aside of housing trust funds to serve people with developmental disabilities; and we are looking for ways to increase housing options for adults with developmental disabilities. One idea is to create regulations specifically for Adult Family Homes designed for people with developmental disabilities.

Adult Family Homes are residential homes licensed to care for up to six non-related residents. They provide room, board, laundry, necessary supervision, and necessary help with activities of daily living, personal care, and social services. But under the existing regulations, the homes cater to seniors, resulting in environments that don’t always work well for people with developmental disabilities, especially younger adults. Regulations specific to people with developmental disabilities could help encourage startups.


If you are interested in affordable housing as an advocacy issue, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance has good resources and training opportunities.

Here are some short video clips for background on the 2018 priorities.

  1. The Housing Trust Fund
  2. The state homelessness funding cliff and the Document Recording Fee
  3. Source of income discrimination
  4. Rental and income assistance for elderly, disabled, or extremely low-income adults
  5. The Medicaid Permanent Supportive Housing Services benefit

ATTEND THE FORUM! You might also want to attend the 2018 Legislative Forum for Developmental Disabilities.
  • Monday, November 20, at the DoubleTree Guest Suites located at 16500 Southcenter Parkway, Seattle (just south of Southcenter mall)
  • 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (program starts at 7 pm)

The King County Board for Developmental Disabilities has not finalized its agenda yet, but housing - and especially ways to expand options for adults with developmental disabilities - has been a key topic of discussion. Attending the forum will give you a chance to connect with legislators and let them know this is a priority for you.