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Rent Strike: Housing Activism in the Pandemic

Posted by Rose Black on

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Keep the Rent Ottawa

  • Josh Hawley, Sloane, Sam, and Lily

LA Tenants Union (Northeast Local)

  • Swift, Yaya, B, and Jazmin

Author of Split: Class Divides Uncovered

  • Ben Tippet

We were already suffering from a housing crisis, with landlords and banks jacking up the rents and doing mass evictions. And that was before the pandemic. With the global economy now in lockdown, many people simply cannot pay their rent. Yet the capitalists expect to keep raking in massive profits while we struggle to survive.

More and more, tenants are collectively organizing to fight back. In the growing calls for a rent strike, many are withholding their rent simply so they can eat as well as a pressure strategy to push for a suspension of payments of rent, mortgages, and utilities. Other activists are demanding that homes should be provided for all, and are opening up vacant housing to allow the unhoused to safely quarantine. At the heart of such organizing is a vision of housing as a human right, democratically controlled and not for profit, rather than as a commodity.

Featured Book
Villages in Cities: Cooperative Housing, Community Land Ownership, and the Milton Parc Story
Co-edited by Joshua Hawley and Dimitrios Roussopoulos


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