The Kelsey Convenes the California Disability Inclusive Housing Working Group

Two women sit with laptops on their laps and one sits with an open book on her lap. One is sitting in a wheelchair and the others are sitting on benches. Plant leaves hang down in the foreground of the photo.

About

California faces a historic housing crisis, and people with disabilities are disproportionately impacted. COVID19 has only exacerbated what we already know: that peoples’ health and safety are directly linked to their housing and that California has a serious lack of affordable, accessible, and inclusive housing. 

There continues to be local, regional, statewide, and federal efforts to preserve, protect, and produce more affordable housing. Simultaneously, there is advocacy to protect the rights and expand housing and services for people with disabilities. Yet, much of affordable housing advocacy has not been disability-inclusive and much of the disability advocacy has not included specific housing asks. 

The CA Disability Inclusive Housing Working Group convenes key stakeholders in affordable housing and cross-disability rights to build greater coherence and alignment in disability and housing policy and practice.

Focus

  • Legislative tracking and information sharing across disability rights and housing advocacy
  • Field building for cross-disability inclusive housing policy and practice 
  • Defining and spearheading / policies and interventions on disability housing
  • COVID19 response and recovery, as it related to disability and housing policy reform 

Values

Our work together will be solution-oriented and equity-focused, specifically through the values of:

  • Lived experience: Our work must be led and supported by those with disabilities as well as other with related lived experiences
  • Inclusive: Our work must be directly informed by the unique history and current realities of segregation and institutionalization of people with disabilities.
  • Cross-Disability: Our work must bring together people of all types of disabilities 
  • Intersectional: Our work must be reflective of race, class, documentation-status, language, gender and other key factors that impact the housing needs of people with disabilities 
  • Reject Scarcity Mentality: Our work must not play into “oppression olympics” and there is a commitment to partner with other communities who are disproportionately impacted by the housing crisis.

Structure & Participation

We meet every other month on the third Friday of every month from 9-10:30am. To join us, email allie@thekelsey.org

To request any other accommodations, please contact allie@thekelsey.org 5 days in advance of the meeting. 

The bi-monthly meetings will cover current activities/priorities, active legislation, and, most importantly participant requests and agenda items. There will be a call for agenda items the first Friday of the meeting month and all participants can send along with requests for agenda items and topics to cover by the third Monday of the month (the Monday before the bi-monthly meeting). 

We ask that all participating members attend as many meetings as possible. 

WHAT THIS WORKING GROUP IS & WHAT IT IS NOT

  • This group is cross-disability. We do not only focus on the Regional Center system or people with intellectual disabilities. If that is your main focus, you should also get involved with the Lanterman Housing Alliance.
  • This group is for stakeholders who have existing knowledge and/or are actively working in disability rights and/or housing. This is not a general information on or discussion of disability housing needs. If you are new to these fields, please check out The Kelsey’s Learn Center, Together We Can Do More Report, and the SCDD Statewide Strategic Framework, The Arc Housing Things, for some learning. If you are a person with disabilities who is interested in learning more about housing development and/or advocacy, sign up for The Kelsey’s upcoming Raise the Roof: A Training Program for Leaders with Disabilities to Advance Housing.  
  • This is not an information session(s) on The Kelsey or our approach to inclusive housing, to learn more about our work – join us for our next office hours. 
Advocacy