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LGBTQ communities face unique challenges in costly housing market, report says


A new report says rising housing costs have had particular impacts on King County's LGBTQ communities, and have left some people struggling to find social connection.

The group LGBTQ Allyship spoke with some three dozen people in focus groups in South King County. Many LGBTQ-identifying people reported being priced out of Seattle and unable to find community in places such as Kent and Burien.

Debbie Carlsen, who leads the group behind the report, says that displacement has real impacts on people's lives. 

“We’re more dispersed and it becomes even harder for LGBTQ-focused organizations and services to meet the needs of the community because they’re more spread out,” Carlsen said.

She also says having a dispersed LGBTQ community can make its members more vulnerable to discrimination and harm.

Carlsen's group is calling on King County officials to work to prevent further displacement. The report recommends officials reach out to LGBTQ-identifying people when they market housing programs and other services.

Will James reports and produces special projects, including podcasts and series, for KNKX. He created and hosted the Outsiders podcast, chronicling homelessness in Olympia for more than a year, in partnership with The Seattle Times.