We are building a tenant-led movement to end evictions, build working-class power, and guarantee housing for all. Housing under capitalism will never provide affordable, accessible, and sustainable housing for everyone, so we must build a movement to transform the capitalist housing system and decarbonize, decolonize, and democratize our homes.
We must develop a strong, creative, and multigenerational working-class base led by communities most impacted by centuries of exclusion, extraction, resistance, and resilience.
To do this, we should meet people where they are, create an inclusive and participatory organization, and invest in leadership development and political education.
South Carolina has some of the worst landlord/tenant laws in the country, and as a result, some of the highest eviction rates and worst housing inequalities in the country.
We must fight back against the power of landlords and the politicians that protect them by expanding tenant protections, preventing evictions, and demanding resources that keep people in their homes.
To transform the root causes of housing injustice, we need to own and control the land upon which we live, love, and labor. This requires tenant control of not just housing but also other public resources and public processes that shape our communities.
We currently anchor the South Carolina Housing Justice Network, a multiracial coalition of grassroots organizers, tenants, and progressive nonprofits in South Carolina. Working in coalition has thus far been the most effective way to do multiracial tenant organizing, and has given us access to resources and organizing capacity that we don’t have just within DSA.
We have also formalized a partnership with the Anti-Eviction Network (a project of the Homes Guarantee and Unemployed Workers United) to pilot an online-to-offline organizing project to connect with tenants facing eviction, share resources with them, and plug them into organizing opportunities.
Evictions are state violence. Alongside other housing justice formations, we demand a stronger and longer eviction moratorium at the federal and state levels. This is a short-term necessity and one that landlords and courts are already ignoring. In the long run, we need full rent cancellation and forgiveness of rental debt. We are also pushing local police and sheriff’s offices to end eviction enforcement as another prong in the abolitionist demand to end policing.
This movement will be most effective and most sustainable when leaders emerge from communities most impacted by housing injustice. We must support and train tenant leaders, grow a broad base of tenant organizers, and adapt our strategies and demands based on that leadership.
Interested in getting involved? Email firstname.lastname@example.org