Who we are, What we do, and Why we do it

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Who We Are

As the statewide champion for housing, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance is a powerful coalition of diverse organizations and individuals working together to build and protect safe, healthy, affordable homes for everyone in Washington.

Founded in 1988, the Housing Alliance is a trusted leader and expert on housing and homelessness. Along with a strong combination of housing and homelessness organizations, funders, services providers, and individual advocates, we work closely with elected officials to turn good ideas into sound policy.

The Housing Alliance has a significant impact on state housing policy. Twenty years ago, members played a pivotal role in founding one of the nation's first state housing trust funds. Today, the Housing Alliance has secured the most public funding for affordable housing in state history. These funds have helped  thousands of previously homeless families, home health care aides, teachers, firefighters, and others to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home.

 


 

What We Do

We Tell the Story of Homes

Children deserve a chance to succeed in school and in life, which all begins with their families being able to afford a safe, healthy, affordable place to live. This can be hard to understand for someone who has never had to choose between feeding their family or paying the rent. But when a child explains that she's doing better in school because her family hasn't had to move this year, the real impact of affordable housing and the need for action becomes clear.
Learn more about our Communication work here.

Advocate for Positive Policy Change

Every year, Housing Alliance members and partners develop policy to meet our state's housing need. We provide our members with a direct line to legislative action in Olympia, access to tools that deepen the impact of their advocacy, and combine data and personal stories to make the biggest impact. Due to a strong and diverse coalition of organized and persistent advocates, in 2015 the legislature allocated $75 million to the Housing Trust Fund, the primary state funding source for affordable housing development.
Learn more about our State Legislative Advocacy work here.

At the federal level, we educate our members on federal policy and advocate on behalf of the entire state with our congressional delegation. The Housing Alliance works closely with the National Low Income Housing Coalition, the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, and other national organizations to develop policy principles and clarify the impact of federal policy on Washington state. We take positions on federal policies that are critically important for Washington, such as the National Housing Trust Fund.
Learn more about our Federal Legislative Advocacy work here.

Mobilze Advocates for Our Movement

The Housing Alliance brings advocates together as part of a single housing movement, empowering people to tell their policy makers that everyone should have the opportunity to live in a safe, healthy, affordable home. In 2017, nearly 700 advocates rallied on the steps of the capitol building for the annual Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day in Olympia. During the 2017 legislative session, we empowered advocates to write over 4,000 emails to legislators asking for better policy and funding for affordable housing. We train advocates to be leaders in their communities through the Emerging Advocates Program, and the Resident Action Project mobilizes people who live in affordable housing to participate in policy making that directly affects them. 

 


 

Why We Do It

It should be possible for working people to afford a home and still have enough money for the basics like groceries, transportation, and childcare. But in Washington, it’s becoming harder and harder for people to afford what they need to make their lives work.

  • In 2017, a minimum wage earner must work 69 hours a week to afford a modest, one-bedroom rental home
  • In 2017, unsheltered homelessness rose by nearly 10% over the previous year
  • 250,000 Washington households must make desperate choices between necessities like food, healthcare, and rent
  • Families with children make up 47% of Washington’s homeless population