The U.S. is in a housing crisis as gentrification drives up rental costs—and renters across the country are retaliating. Today (September 22), more than 53 actions are planned in 48 cities and 19 states for the #RentersDayOfAction.
“As the crisis deepens for renters, low-income homeowners and homeless families, we’re beginning to see the resurgence of a mass movement of renters standing up to say enough is enough,” said Rachel LaForest of the Right To The City Alliance, in a statement sent to Colorlines. “At every level of government, from local city councils to the president, the ability of renters and working families to thrive needs to be a central economic justice issue of our time.”
A 2014 analysis by Zillow Real Estate Research showed that renters are spending almost 19 percent more of their incomes on rent than they did between 1985 and 2000. In cities like Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco, rent is over 40 percent of the average household’s income. In New York City, according to a 2016 New York University report, the increases are hitting historically Black neighborhoods the hardest. Harlem and neighborhoods in Brooklyn—including Brownsville and Bedford-Stuyvesant—are losing their Black populations as prices rise.
Activists are also launching statewide rent control campaigns in Oregon and Colorado in conjunction with today’s actions. Check out tweets from protests around the country.
— neha devi (@devi_nehadevi) September 22, 2016
— CarrollGardensAssoc. (@CGA_NPC) September 22, 2016
— Fifth Ave Committee (@FACbrooklyn) September 22, 2016
— NBOP (@NBOP) September 22, 2016
— CausaJusta (@CausaJusta1) September 22, 2016
— SFADC (@stopsfevictions) September 22, 2016