Philly Families Faced With Eviction Are Rising Up, Refusing to Leave Their Homes

“I want you to fight, I want you to organize, I want you to talk to your neighbors, I want you to have a meeting, I want you to get a spreadsheet and just the same way that we can organize a barbecue, we can all figure out what it means to actually take control of some of these housing units,” says organizer Sterling Johnson. In this episode, host Kelly Hayes talks with Johnson and UC Townhome resident Rasheda Alexander about gentrification, organized abandonment and an ongoing struggle in West Philadelphia, where dozens of families are resisting the demolition of…

LA Ballot Measure Would Let Unhoused People Stay in Hotels Past Pandemic

Image Credit: Los Angeles County Newsroom The housing crisis is worsening in Los Angeles, where an estimated 60,000 people remain unhoused in Los Angeles County and thousands more are on the cusp of evictions, even as 20,000 hotel rooms remain vacant across the region. This comes as a new ballot measure could require hotels to house homeless people in vacant rooms. The measure is backed by California’s largest hospitality union, UNITE HERE Local 11, and attempts to revive a statewide pandemic policy known as Project Roomkey, which, now set to end, provided vouchers for people experiencing homelessness to use at…

Unhoused Activists Are Fighting a Surge of Bills Criminalizing Homelessness

This article was originally published on Waging Nonviolence. As soaring rents force many out of their homes, advocates across the country are battling a slew of state and local measures that criminalize homelessness and imperil those living on the street. Police in riot gear stormed the chambers of a Los Angeles City Council meeting on Tuesday after one protester climbed a bench to confront Council President Nury Martinez over an ordinance banning homeless encampments near schools and daycares. Martinez briefly recessed the meeting as dozens of activists chanted “Abolish 41.18!” — a reference to the ordinance. Last week, around 70…

Tenants Call on Biden to Act as Rent Increases Reach a 35-Year High

Inflation cooled off and remained unchanged during the month of July, providing President Joe Biden and vulnerable Democrats a reason to celebrate ahead of the midterms. However, on Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its consumer price index, which reports that the cost of paying rent inflated by 6.3 percent over the past year, the largest increase in 35 years and a clear signal that the housing crisis enflamed by the COVID pandemic continues. The rent inflation index reflects landlords raising rents on existing tenants; it does not include the prices of new leases when tenants move. A…

Warren Demands Private Equity-Backed Firms Answer for Role in Rising Rent Prices

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) is demanding answers from housing corporations with backing from private equity, who she says are involved in inflating housing prices for both renters and buyers. Warren sent letters to CEOs of Progress Residential, American Homes 4 Rent and Invitation Homes to condemn rent hikes and rising house prices that she says are a result of corporations’ growing influence on the housing market. Her aim is to determine whether or not these businesses have been taking advantage of current housing shortages. “Our country faces an unprecedented affordable housing supply shortage,” she wrote. “Decades of underinvestment, coupled with…

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