We believe that a safe, quality, and affordable place to live is a fundamental human right. To ensure that all people can live healthy lives, we must guarantee access to a safe, healthy, and affordable home, free from the threat of displacement.
Housing is for people, not profiteers. As a recent United Nations report concluded: "Rather than treating housing as a commodity... [we must] reclaim housing as a social good, and thus ensure the human right to a place to live in security and dignity."
Achieving this will require taking on Wall Street landlords, slumlords, and other special interests exploiting those who can least afford it.
It is necessary that all neighborhoods should be healthy places to live and provide a full range of opportunities for everyone. Our zip codes predict our health and exposure to violence as well as our access to good schools, reliable transportation, and quality job opportunities. Low-income families in America, especially people of color, have disproportionately been forced to live in the places with the least opportunity. We can and must ensure that all communities have an equitable share of resources and are places where people and communities can thrive. All people should have choices about where they want to live and seek opportunity.
We know that we cannot realize housing as a human right unless we end the systemic discrimination and systems of oppression that exist in our society, in our movement, and in ourselves. From the theft of indigenous land to redlining to predatory lending, racism, sexism, and homophobia, forms of oppression have been at the root of housing and land policy in the U.S. since its inception. We are committed to uniting and building with other movements across issues and sectors to advance an intersectional movement for justice and equality.
To promote equitable opportunity, we need the power of people coming together through organizing in local places all across America. Organizing in communities, congregations, and unions is beginning to build the power to ensure that decisions are shaped by those most directly affected and based on the principle of housing as a fundamental human right rather than a cash cow for developers or speculators.
We must use this power to hold government accountable at the local, state, and national levels. We will hold government accountable to fulfill its responsibility and make sure members of Congress provide adequate resources to fully address the nation's affordable housing crisis. This includes the federal government supporting permanent affordability and not financing the corporate takeover of our housing markets. But we also remember that many of the decisions that have driven the housing and displacement crisis over the past decades have been made at the local and state levels.
Good and just public policy can only be developed with the direct participation of those impacted most by that policy. We are committed to supporting housing justice campaigns that amplify the voices of those most directly affected and leading participatory efforts to elevate those experiences to policymakers at every level of government.