Lents Strong Housing Team: Legislative and Policy Group (Ameera Saahir, Marih Alyn-Claire & Luke Bonham-Rose staff) co-led a Legislative-Prep Workshop 1/26/19 with Community Alliance of Tenants staff, Coya Crespin, assisting SE Portland Renters to prepare their testimonies for the 2019 legislative session.
Gresham Housing for the People Coalition of tenants meet the 2nd Tuesday of each Month. Tenants are working to gain tenant protections on par with Portland renters. Several renters now occupy seats on the Gresham Housing Task Force. They are pushing the City Council and Mayor Bemis to enact protective measures against high rent increases, retaliation by landlords and gentrification causing renters to lose their homes.
The power is in YOU. Change begins when you take the first step. Invite two of your neighbors for coffee. Share information about rents, repairs, fees, threats of retaliation. Develop channels of communication, building trust and a sense of community together. Focus on mutual needs and ways to support one another. Set mutual goals and brainstorm ways to overcome barriers. Seek support from other tenant groups, organizations and building unions. Don't be afraid to reach out for assistance .
Coya Crespin shares her emotional story during the Legislative Prep Workshop: her hard won experience of triumph organizing tenants in her building, protecting her family and fellow renters from losing their homes in 2017 following a no cause eviction at Titon Manor.
I had no idea in 1995 when I could no longer work due to the impact of brain injury, that I would become a tenant advocate and leader. Our building received notice that we had 60 days to move, or come up with $1500 for rent. The building was being sold and turned into condos. We all won time to move and received all the support we needed, ONLY because two of us organized and demanded our rights. Marih Alyn-Claire
Wimby Tenant have formed a Tenant Union after suffering habitability conditions of : mold, construction, water shut-off. Check out their FB page
Gresham Housing For The People Coalition
Tenants are organizing and demanding that Gresham City Council provide protections to the many tenants facing displacement and houselessness due to high rent prices, gentrification and the lack of affordable housing.
Listen to tenant leader Cam Coval of Pueblo Unido PDX share their campaign.
You can join Cam on Face Book
At the close of a 3 day Jobs With Justice workshop, we were all exhausted and a little giddy. Remembering the power and solidarity of our work campaigning for housing and fair wages-I wanted to send JWJ leaders and fellow advocates a big Thank You!