Raise the Roof 2020 Summary

2020 Raise the Roof Housing Program: A training program for leaders with disabilities to advance housing blue text on off white background

More often than not, housing doesn’t meet the needs of people with disabilities. Some housing is too expensive, and some housing is too hard to navigate physically, emotionally, or otherwise. In part, this is because there are not enough disabled leaders working in the housing field. Also, people with disabilities are not often taught about the housing field and how housing gets built. Because of this, they are not often given the opportunities to get more involved in the housing field. If there can be more disabled leaders in the field, they can help to transform housing so that it can be more affordable, accessible, and inclusive.

To help solve these problems, The Kelsey invited disabled leaders to participate in a program called Raise the Roof. Raise the Roof was a 6 session online program over the course of 12 weeks which trained leaders with disabilities about the housing industry so they can get involved and advocate for more affordable, accessible and inclusive housing. 

The first session, Housing is Health Care, taught participants about social determinants of health and home and community-based services. Housing is Access and Design focused on how housing is built, building codes, and universal design. Housing is Policy talked about the history of zoning, the Fair Housing Act, and policies that protect affordable housing in cities. Housing is Money explained area median income, the costs to build and operate housing, and how much rent people often pay in affordable housing. Housing is Social Justice talked about the history of racism and ableism in the housing market, intersectionality, and the Olmstead decision. Housing is Advocacy focused on types of advocacy and working together to create change. 

Because Raise the Roof was an online program, more people from many places were able to participate in large sessions, small groups, and mentorship. In total, 88 disabled leaders from 15 states were able to participate and learn about the housing industry. They became part of a growing nationwide network of disabled leaders who can advocate for a more affordable, accessible, and inclusive housing industry. 

100% of the graduates would recommend Raise the Roof to other disabled adults that they know. 100% of the graduates also said they wanted to stay connected to The Kelsey’s work. The Kelsey will continue to train, support, and work with disabled leaders to build more affordable, accessible, and inclusive communities. To learn more about future programs and to get involved in the networks of disabled leaders for housing, contact Allie at allie@thekelsey.org.

View the preview video of the 2020 Raise the Roof program here.

View the highlights of the 2020 Raise the Roof program here.

2020 Speakers

  • Hablo Rodríguez Díaz, A Way Home America
  • Eric Harris, Disability Rights California
  • Valerie Novack, Center for American Progress
  • Tomiquia Moss, All Home
  • Jorge Wong, Health Trust
  • Capri Roth, EBALDC
  • Chris Downey, Architecture for the Blind
  • Denice Wint, EAH Housing
  • Carol Galante, Terner Center at UC Berkeley
  • Emily Jones, WRNS Studio
  • Victor Santiago Pineda, World Enabled
  • Jennifer Chang, Common Coliving
  • Julia Bascom, Executive Director, ASAN
  • Cathleen O’Brien, Access Living
  • Yusef Freeman, Jonathan Rose Companies