Housing Access

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights works to ensure communities of color have equitable access to housing. This work has led to recent legislation such as Source of Income Protections and Fair Chance Housing.  For more information about the importance of the Fair Housing ordinance, be sure to read Erika Pablo's essay "Seattle: A Fair Chance Housing Ordinance Centering Racial Equity" published by the Government Alliance on Race & Equity.

A key part of our Housing Access work is to nurture and uplift the community organizing and community-led policy that continues to take place outside the institution. The Fair Chance Housing legislation is one example of a decade-long effort by black and indigenous women and other organizers of color experiencing homelessness because of their criminal history. We also also partnered with the FARE Coalition that most recently organized to pass Fair Chance Housing on the City level.

Our current efforts include community preferences in housing, eviction reform, and other anti-displacement strategies. 

  • Community preferences is another example of community-led policy. For several years, community leaders have organized and advocated for the City to implement housing preferences in order to prevent displacement of their neighbors and affirmatively further fair housing. Currently, OCR is partnering with Office of Housing and community leaders to develop guidance on a permissive community preference policy. 
  • We are partnering with the Seattle Women's Commission to implement the recommendations highlighted in their Losing Home: The Human Cost of Eviction in Seattle report.  
  • We partner with the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development through the Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) to address displacement and cultivate anti-displacement strategies brought by the Interim Advisory Board, a board of community leaders from high risk of displacement neighborhoods in Seattle.