(Washington, DC – November 14, 2019) – The National LGBTQ Task Force is pleased to announce it is joining the Steering Committee of Opportunity Starts at Home, an unprecedented multi-sector campaign to advance federal policies that expand affordable housing for the most vulnerable people.
Through Opportunity Starts at Home, leading national organizations from many sectors – education, health, civil rights, anti-hunger, poverty reduction, criminal justice reform, and more – are working collectively to raise awareness about the housing affordability crisis and to push for bold federal solutions.
Research is increasingly clear that stable, affordable housing is a critical driver of positive outcomes in many areas of life, but such housing is much less assured for the LGBTQ community. For example, LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely than their heterosexual peers to experience homelessness, which can significantly impede their economic mobility, educational achievement, and physical and mental health. In fact, 40% of all homeless youth are LGBTQ, and family rejection is a factor in two-thirds of these cases.
Older LGBTQ couples, especially older lesbian couples, experience higher rates of poverty (9.1%) than older heterosexual couples (4.6%). In addition, LGBTQ older adults face discrimination in the sale and rental of housing, and in mortgage lending, which adversely impacts access to housing. In fact, one study found that 48% of older same sex couples applying for senior housing were subjected to discrimination.
All of these disparities – in homelessness, housing access, and poverty – are more pronounced for LGBTQ people of color and LGBTQ people living with disabilities. A recent study showed that 17.6% of LGBTQ people with disabilities and 12.5% of LGBTQ people of color need and receive public housing assistance, compared to 2.5% of non-LGBTQ people.
The Task Force is joining the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign’s Steering Committee because advancing equity for LGBTQ people demands access to safe, decent, and affordable housing in which they can thrive. The campaign’s federal policy agenda articulates a bold package of solutions that are necessary to solve the housing affordability crisis, and the Task Force is eager to help push for congressional action.
“The Task Force is honored to join our colleagues on the Opportunity Starts at Home Steering Committee in the continued fight for affordable housing,” said Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National LGBTQ Task Force “LGBTQ people, people of color, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and other marginalized populations have long struggled to meet our most basic needs. This campaign allows us to leverage our diverse perspectives and power in working together to ensure that all people have access to safe and secure housing. We look forward to bringing our dedication and expertise on these issues to the table.”
As a Steering Committee member, the Task Force will provide on-going strategic and tactical advice to the campaign, and work to mobilize its own network of advocates around federal policy actions that will expand housing affordability.
“We are thrilled to have the National LGBTQ Task Force join the campaign’s Steering Committee,” said Mike Koprowski, National Director of the Opportunity Starts at Home campaign. “The shortage of affordable housing takes a disproportionate toll on the LGBTQ community, and so it makes sense that housing advocates, LGBTQ advocates, and many others join together in a broad movement to urge more robust and equitable federal housing policies.”
Contact: Sarah Massey
Communications Director, National LGBTQ Task Force