FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 9/8/17
Contact: Jess Clarke, firstname.lastname@example.org, 844-788-2489 Ext. 809
Growing Renter Resistance Movement Takes on High Rents, Evictions and HUD Cuts
Renters in over 45 cities across the United States will stage coordinated demonstrations for a national Renter Week of Action and Assemblies, beginning September 16th and running through the following weekend. As the Trump administration threatens billions of dollars in cuts to vital housing and community support programs, tenants are coming together to denounce policies that strike at the hearts of working class people, immigrants and communities of color. In the largest such mobilization in decades, thousands are expected to take to the streets to confront corporate landlords, developers and politicians driving the housing crisis. They are demanding universal rent control and eviction protections, full funding for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to guarantee homes for all, the right of all tenants to organize and bargain collectively, and for long-term community control of land & housing.
“Our communities are under constant attack. From policies of mass deportation and incarceration to gentrification and mass evictions, we are facing displacement in many forms. Renters have had enough. In 2016 we declared a ‘national renter state of emergency’ and mobilized the power of the emerging Renter Nation,” says Right To The City Boston organizer Darnell L. Johnson. “This year the mood is even more militant. The Renter Week of Action and Assemblies will be a wake up call that we’re organized, we’re powerful and we won’t back down.”
By all available measures, the crisis for renters has gotten worse over the last year. 51 percent of all renter households now pay unaffordable rents. An analysis shows that if US renters paid only what they could afford on housing (30 percent of income), they would have an extra $124 billion to spend on basic necessities like food, transportation, healthcare, and education (Source: National Equity Atlas, a partnership between PolicyLink and the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity).
Groups are planning a wide range of actions to disrupt business as usual, including: direct actions at the personal residences of corporate landlords; banner drops; citywide tours of the housing crisis; and creative actions at city halls. The Community Alliance of Tenants in Oregon has actions planned in four different cities aimed at challenging a statewide prohibition on local rent controls. In Minneapolis, 50+ tenants of corporate landlord Stephen Frenz, plan to march on his home in suburban Minneapolis.
Groups involved in the Renter Week of Action have won a number of victories recently, all aimed at easing the impacts of the crisis and transitioning to a more equitable housing system. In Newark, NJ, the city yielded to renters’ threat of a ballot measure and strengthened the city’s rent control and vacancy ordinances. Tenants won a $1.65 million fund to support community land trusts from New York City. In Nashville, Latino renters formed a tenants union and won major repairs in their housing complex in July. And the California Renter Power Assembly, set for Sept 23-24, has already registered over 250 participants from dozens of cities representing 20 different local organizations. They are uniting to create a common platform to advance their demands to a statewide level.
To see a map of the growing list of actions visit: www.HomesForAll.org/RenterWeekOfAction
Follow #RenterWeekOfAction and #RenterNation on social media for updates.