Did you know that the Northwest is one of the fastest growing regions in the United States? This growth brings new economic opportunities for the region’s cities—but it also brings economic challenges for the people living in them. Affordable housing continues to be pushed out of reach in metropolitan areas, and the homeless crisis has reached emergency status in Seattle.
But not everyone is working toward a solution. In fact, some landlords are actively standing in the way of one.
Today, we raised our voice in a case challenging one landlord’s policy of allowing only a single occupant per studio apartment. This type of policy has a disparate impact on (read: discriminates against) all people with children, but causes even greater harm to single parents, the majority of whom are women.
Families—especially ones led by single mothers, domestic violence survivors, or low-income parents—have enough barriers to affordable housing without landlords discriminating against them. This unjust practice must end.
This issue doesn’t just affect the health and well-being of single parents and their children. Housing instability affects entire communities by perpetuating residential segregation based on gender, race, ethnicity, and income. And it has dire impacts on children’s health and education.
With strong laws on our side—including the federal Fair Housing Act, the Washington Law Against Discrimination, and the Seattle Fair Housing Ordinance—we remain hopeful that the Court of Appeals will call out this policy for what it is: discrimination.