In January, Queer the Land (QTL) announced the purchase of a new home with the help of a $200,000 award from Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) to support their acquisition of the Emma Goldman Finishing School (EGFS) property. QTL’s proposal was accepted during the 2019 funding round into the EDI Fund as being a project consistent with EDI goals.
QTL is a queer, transgender and Two-Spirit Black/Indigenous/people of color community (QT2BIPOC) collective who will use the funds to build the capacity building resources they need to create an owned-and-operated cooperative. This project will provide affordable transitional and semi-permanent housing, co-working space, communal space, and a community garden. The property is in Seattle’s historically diverse Beacon Hill neighborhood.
“EDI is currently partnering with over 60 local Grantees including Queer the Land, advancing inclusive economic recovery to unlock the full potential of the local economy by dismantling barriers and expanding opportunities for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC),” says Ubax Gardheere, EDI Division Manager. “Through accountable public action and investments, we are collectively advancing racial equity outcomes that centers community ownership, wealth building and anti-displacement strategies. EDI Queer the land Project Manager Patrice Thomas has been working with Queer the land project sponsors through an EDI capacity building grant to increase their capacity for self-determination.”
“We are thrilled to collaborate in the process of transforming the Beacon Hill house into a space for Queer and BIPOC folx to thrive and call home,” says the cooperative’s first residents, a queer couple with a child who are familiar with cooperative living and house maintenance.
The EDI – housed under the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) – addresses displacement and the unequal distribution of opportunities to sustain a diverse Seattle. The EDI fosters community leadership and supports organizations to promote equitable access to housing, jobs, education, parks, cultural expression, healthy food, and other community needs and amenities.
For more information, please visit OPCD’s EDI webpage: http://www.seattle.gov/opcd/ongoing-initiatives/equitable-development-initiative.
For more information about QTL: www.queertheland.org.