We live in a market-based housing system. That means landlords’ profits take priority over tenants’ lives—over staying in our communities in homes that meet our needs and desires, and not handing over our whole paychecks to our landlords.
It’s profitable for landlords to buy up distressed properties on the cheap, throw on a coat of paint, and jack the rent, pushing out longtime residents in the process. It’s profitable to defer maintenance and let tenants live in squalor when code enforcement is underfunded and tenants have nowhere else to go. It’s profitable to turn a historic mill into cookie-cutter “luxury” apartments that fall apart in a few years.
For too long, our homes have been places for investors to grow their money. We've had enough, and we're banding together to fight back.
Tenant unions transform shared vulnerability into shared power.
Individually, tenants are vulnerable to unaffordable rent increases, eviction, and failed maintenance. Standing together, tenants have the power to limit rent increases, prevent evictions, and demand regular maintenance.
Landlords don’t need any one of us—they need all of us. Landlords can replace individual tenants who demand repairs or “cause trouble.” But a landlord’s tenants as a whole pay the landlord’s bills. That’s the source of our power: tenants united have the economic power to demand a fair contract.
Tenant unions bring tenants together to discuss what they want and need from their housing and make shared demands of the landlord. Through public pressure and direct action, tenants can force their landlord to negotiate a collectively bargained lease.
Tenants may want a 3-year lease instead of month-to-month, with a regular maintenance schedule and predictable, modest rent increases. This is the kind of fair contract tenants can win when we work together to bring our landlords to the negotiating table.
Want to organize your building or get involved? Email [email protected] to get started.