100 Rent-Burdened Tenants Demand Meeting with Biden and Executive Order to Regulate Rent
Contact: Johanna Kichton, [email protected], 202.660.0605
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Homes Guarantee campaign wrapped up the Tenant Reckoning on the Rent in D.C. with 100 tenants who have experienced rent hikes and evictions. 247 tenant organizations, labor unions, legal service providers, and community groups signed on in support of an executive order that the Homes Guarantee presented to the President.
“We have recently drafted an executive order for the President to sign. The order is the outcome of over 100,000 conversations with tenants across the country and ten months of research with our policy and legal partners,” Tennessee for Safe Homes tenant leader Judy Schwartz-Naber said. “One of the most important parts is adding conditions to government-backed mortgages and federal housing subsidies. That’s the people’s money.”
Three Homes Guarantee tenant leaders attended a stakeholder meeting at the White House on Monday. Two days later, all 100 tenants rallied at the White House to demand a meeting with President Biden and key advisors like National Economic Council Director Brian Deese. Today, the Homes Guarantee campaign hosted a congressional briefing with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and U.S. Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., Jesús (“Chuy”) García, D-Ill., and Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y.
“The federal government is held hostage by private businesses. Corporations convince people in power that–if we’re going to have homes–they have to make someone else rich,” Kentucky Tenants tenant leader Penny Blevins said. “I believe in a Homes Guarantee–the idea that we can live in a world where everyone has a safe, decent, truly affordable home.”
“What is happening in my city should be an alarm to all of you. Allowing landlords to run wild, to financialize the housing market… that’s what created this nightmare. As a country, we are manufacturing homelessness,” POWER LA tenant leader Will Sens said.
The Federal Reserve recently increased interest rates, hurting tenants by keeping prospective homebuyers out of the market and increasing price pressure in an already-crunched rental market. Polling from Data for Progress and Bipartisan Policy Center point to bipartisan voter appetite for federal action to mitigate rising housing costs. Earlier this year, the campaign sent the White House a memo of recommended federal actions to curb rent inflation, signed by 220+ partner organizations.
People’s Action builds the power of poor and working people in urban, rural, and suburban areas to win change through issue fights and elections. We are a national network of 38 state and local grassroots power-building organizations in 28 states–united in the work of building a bigger “we.”