We are fighting for housing justice because we believe that having a home is a human right. Currently, access to housing is left up to a volatile and unregulated market. The market does not adjust for the realities that people are experiencing because it doesn’t have to. That means that there are people are – and who have been for generations – systematically denied access to housing, and this is an injustice.
We hold values of anti-oppression and anti-racism. Institutional oppression can take many forms – from the redlining that once prevented African American families from purchasing homes using federally-backed mortgages to the legal discrimination that occurs today that allows landlords to deny tenancy to people using a voucher or housing subsidy to pay rent. Institutional oppression is rooted in discrimination and bias based on race, class, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, national origin, and other identity groups or characteristics.We will not ignore the way the system disproportionately impacts these populations. We uphold these oppression and anti-racist values in all our organizing and advocacy work, and work to make our group representative of the communities who are most impacted.
We will be intentional about undoing oppressions in our organizing spaces. We will educate ourselves, listen with empathy to each other’s experiences, hold each other accountable for our actions and words, and dismantle professionalized culture that upholds white supremacy and patriarchy. We will hold each other accountable with compassion. Achieving our mission of affordable housing for all requires an awareness of the current and historical forms of institutional oppression and a commitment to addressing issues of equity present in all of our local communities.
We value community, justice, and fairness, and these values inform how we work together. Building strong relationships is fundamental to effective organizing. This work is hard, and it is personal. As we fight for wins, we need to support each other to make our organizing sustainable so people don’t burn out. We believe in organizing that is more transformational than transactional. We want to create the opportunity to build skills and leadership and to provide input on our work. We will not simply tell people what to do. We will work together and be transformed by each other’s leadership.
Finally, we want to form a culture of appreciation and accountability. We are not going to be perfect. We are going to have to remind ourselves and each other of our values, and we are going to have to have hard conversations sometimes. And that’s okay. That means that we’re committed to doing justice for ourselves and each other in this work.