Other Group

Our Homes, Our Health

Website:

ourhomesourhealth.org/

Location:

CA

Formation:

April 2020

Budget (2018): [24]

Revenue: $14,061,990

Expenses: $15,070,035

Assets: $20,776,651

Type:

Campaign Project by Coalition of Advocacy Groups

Our Homes, Our Health is an initiative and recovery plan by left-progressive groups that support the housing proposals of the Housing Justice National Platform, itself a coalition of advocacy groups that support a platform to increase the amount of government-funded, operated, and owned housing in the United States.

Our Homes, Our Health is part of the National Housing Justice Grassroots Table, which includes the Center for Popular DemocracyPartnership for Working FamiliesPeople’s Action, and the Right to the City Alliance. [1] [2] Our Homes, Our Health is a project of the radical-left-aligned nonprofit PolicyLink and receives support from the Alliance for Housing Justice. [3]

All members of Our Homes, Our Health individually endorsed the Housing Justice National Platform, which was outlined in a letter to Congress informing them about the groups’ demands in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. [4] [5]

Policies

Our Homes, Our Health was a campaign formed in April 2020[6] in response to the pandemic COVID-19, which advocates for government-run housing, protecting renters and homeowners from displacement, and strengthening fair housing rules. [7] The campaign offers a model policy that cities or states can adopt. [8]

The group has campaigns in several cities, including Ithaca, New York; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New Orleans, Louisiana; and San Francisco, California. In addition, Our Homes, Our Health is active in specific states, including New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New York. The campaigns include working with unions, local and state governments, other left-progressive advocacy groups, and residents cancelling rent and mortgage payments, providing financial assistance to small landlords and homeowners, fighting against evictions and late fees for rent, and encouraging the use of government funds to provide direct assistance for renters and homeowners. [9]

Cancel Rent

The group promotes the idea of rent cancelation. Under the “Cancel Rent” concept, all rent, late fees, and debt related to not paying rent would be canceled, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over and rent cancelation programs have ended. These mandates would include rent freezes and rent controls that would carry on after COVID-19, including an eviction moratorium and a right to lease renewal. [10]

Our Homes, Our Health demands that public spending be focused on reclaiming homes as “social housing” and that homes are placed under “democratic community control and public stewardship,” a euphemism for government ownership and control. [11] The group advocates that homes be protected from the private market and be either owned by public entities or nonprofits. The group encourages buyout funds, bonds, and taxes, allowing the Federal Reserve to purchase and guarantee buyout bonds. [12]

Our Homes, Our Health promotes eminent domain targeted against AirBnbs, “luxury” housing, and businesses that own properties. It further demands enacting stronger community reinvestment acts, forcing banks to sell foreclosed properties to local residents, community land trusts, or co-ops, which would then be turned into government-owned or government-controlled housing.. [13]

Our Homes, Our Health has proposed that instead of bailing out banks that falter, the government should seize these banks and convert them to government ownership. While doing this, the group encourages a transfer of distressed mortgages to nonprofit or public entities. Its policy calls for an 12 million more units of government-owned housing to be built over the next 10 years. [14]

Eviction Moratorium

Our Homes, Our Health calls for a broad moratorium on all evictions, foreclosures, and sweeps of homeless encampments. [15]

The group supports a suspension of all evictions, regardless of cause, and for such a suspension to cover all residents, regardless of immigration status, employment, housing, or criminal legal status. Included is the suspension of foreclosures with a forgiveness on mortgage debt, while banning utility companies from shutting off service. Penalties, late fees, and interest would also be waived. Our Homes, Our Health encourages the end of sweeps on homeless encampments and advocates for the end of immigration enforcement and detention. [16]

Our Homes, Our Health recommends policies be continued even after the COVID-19 pandemic is declared over, including rent cancellation and rent freezes and all moratoriums to continue for at least 90 days afterward. The group calls for credit score and debt forgiveness and to extend permanent tenant protections, including a right to council, just cause, and low-fault eviction protections. [17]

Emergency HousingThe group demands an increase in government-provided emergency housing and a permanent “right” to housing with emergency action, if necessary. Its policy calls for the funding of habitability repairs and accessibility conversations, giving tenants the right to purchase when a landlord fails to pay for repairs. The recommendations include buyouts funded by all levels of government. [18]

Call to Action

Our Homes, Our Health encourages its supporters to participate in national campaigns, which include calling Congress to support federal rent and mortgage cancellation, to read and familiarize oneself with the group’s letter to Congress and memo on COVID-19 regarding housing and homelessness, demand a “National Homes Guarantee,” sign up to cancel rent at CancelRent.Us, sign a petition, and to share personal stories in support of national rent and mortgage cancellation. [19] On its website, additional resource links are provided, leading to the groups which support it. [20]

PolicyLink advocates for the the Rent and Mortgage Cancellation Act, and encourages its supporters to ask their legislators to support it. [21]

Social Media

The hashtag #OurHomesOurHealth started on Twitter in April 2020 to promote the left-progressive idea of government-run housing. It is used by such organizations as, PolicyLink, Habitat for Humanity Asia-Pacific, The Kresge Foundation, Alliance for Housing Justice, and Alliance for Boys and Men of Color. [22]

Leadership

Chris Schildt, senior associate at Policylink, is often the representative of Our Homes, Our Health in the media and for media statements. [23]

References

  1. Contact Us. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 15, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/contact-us ^
  2. Brey, Jared. “Housing in Brief: A Campaign to Cancel Rent.” Next City. May 1, 2020. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/housing-in-brief-a-campaign-to-cancel-rent ^
  3. Homepage. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 15, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/ ^
  4. “Housing Justice Movement Letter to Congress.” Housing Justice Platform. Accessed July 23, 2020. https://www.housingjusticeplatform.org/covid-19-letter-to-congress ^
  5. Housing Justice National Platform for a Homes Guarantee. Accessed July 23, 2020. https://cb52b723-1431-4f7c-ac8d-8b4c7422a600.filesusr.com/ugd/19c39f_2b2f417a78f54f068e92292b48f16383.pdf ^
  6. Capps, Kriston. “’Cancel the Rent’ Could Be Just the Beginning.” Bloomberg. April 29, 2020. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-29/-cancel-the-rent-could-be-just-the-beginning ^
  7. Homepage. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 15, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/ ^
  8. Peters, Adele. “See Where the Nearly 200,000 Rent Strikes               are Happening in the U.S.” Fast Company. May 1, 2020. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://www.fastcompany.com/90499398/rent-is-due-and-tens-of-thousands-of-people-are-going-on-rent-strike ^
  9. Take Action. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/action-homes-health ^
  10. Cancel Rent. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 26, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/cancel-rent-reclaim-homes ^
  11. Cancel Rent. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 26, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/cancel-rent-reclaim-homes ^
  12. Cancel Rent. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 26, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/cancel-rent-reclaim-homes ^
  13. Cancel Rent. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 26, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/cancel-rent-reclaim-homes ^
  14. Cancel Rent. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 26, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/cancel-rent-reclaim-homes ^
  15. Eviction Moratorium. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 26, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/eviction-moratorium ^
  16. Eviction Moratorium. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 26, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/eviction-moratorium ^
  17. Eviction Moratorium. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 26, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/eviction-moratorium ^
  18. Eviction Moratorium. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 26, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/eviction-moratorium ^
  19. Take Action. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/action-homes-health ^
  20. Take Action. Our Homes, Our Health. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://ourhomesourhealth.org/action-homes-health ^
  21. COVID-19 & Race: Commentary. PolicyLink. Accessed July 23, 2020. https://www.policylink.org/covid19-and-race/commentary/racial-equity-housing ^
  22. #OurHomesOurHealth. Twitter. May 3, 2020, May 19, 2020, May 21, 2020, July 7, and July 15, 2020. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23OurHomesOurHealth&src=typed_query&f=live ^
  23. Peters, Adele. “See Where the Nearly 200,000 Rent Strikes       are Happening in the U.S.” Fast Company. May 1, 2020. Accessed July 21, 2020. https://www.fastcompany.com/90499398/rent-is-due-and-tens-of-thousands-of-people-are-going-on-rent-strike ^
  24. Equal Rights Amendment Coalition, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990EZ), 2018, Line D. Accessed June 18, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/471170242/201911359349201176/full ^
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Our Homes, Our Health

CA