In response to the housing crisis, Right to the City’s Land and Housing Workgroup launched Homes For All (HFA) a national campaign to affect significant policy changes around the preservation and expansion of affordable housing. HFA aims to engage impacted communities in grassroots organizing and advocacy to win effective local housing justice policies, and create change at the national level by calling on the federal government to invest in affordable and secure housing.
This July, over 40 representatives and partners of our Homes For All campaign gathered together in New York City for a three-day campaign strategic planning retreat.
In total, 18 active campaign member organizations participated in the retreat including: Arise for Social Justice, CAAAV-Organizing Asian Communities, Causa Justa::Just Cause, Chain Breakers Collective, Chinese Progressive Association – Boston, City Life/Vida Urbana, Community Voices Heard, Direct Action for Rights and Equality, East LA Community Corporation, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, No One Leaves Mid Hudson, Occupy Our Homes Atlanta, Occupy Our Homes Minnesota, Picture the Homeless, Springfield No One Leaves, SRO Mission Collective, Stand Against Eviction and Foreclosure, and Strategic Actions For a Just Economy.
Our participants represented 12 cities: Springfield, New York, Oakland, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Boston, Providence, Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and Poughkeepsie.
Together we reviewed proposals for national and trans-local bodies of work, agreed on priority areas and strategic directions, made organizational commitments, discussed big picture questions about how to scale between trans-local, regional, and national work, and laid the groundwork for growing the campaign through infrastructure, capacity building, and organizational development.
One important outcome of the retreat was developing two main areas of trans-local campaign work. The area that had the most interest among our groups is winning and expanding Just Cause Eviction ordinances and policies at the local level. In addition, a sub-section of groups who expressed interest in a Just Cause Eviction trans-local campaign are also working to incorporate a Renter’s Bill of Rights component. The second area of interest was in beginning a trans-local Community Land Trust (CLT) campaign to further our work to expand community controlled affordable housing. Since many of our groups are new to exploring CLT’s, invested groups committed to conducting research on CLT models and creating space for joint learning and studying how CLT’s are financed and implemented, to deepen our expertise.
While we accomplish a great deal over weekly and monthly campaign conference calls, the ability to be together in person and dig in deep into the strategic questions we face within the campaign made a huge qualitative difference. The retreat was an opportunity to build new relationships, strengthen organizational investment, develop new leadership, and increase our momentum to carry out this work.
For more information and a complete list of HFA partners visit www.homesforall.org.