Monday, March 6th: The big CITY COUNCIL HEARING on the JIM BROOKS COMMUNITY STABILIZATION ACT will finally happen! We need ALL OUT to PACK the HEARING!! We'll tell Boston City Council to PASS the Jim Brooks Community Stabilization Act (formerly Just Cause Eviction). This is the moment to take a stand and interrupt Boston's displacement crisis. Also - make calls NOW to your district councilor and At-Large Councilors. Tell them to SUPPORT AND SAY YES TO JIM BROOKS STABILIZATION ACT (See http://www.justcauseboston.org/contact_your_city_councilor for numbers).
*We need housing stability and development without displacement. *We need accountability for developers who are flipping our neighborhoods with no-fault evictions and increasing rents. *We want real solutions for stabilizing the rent in Boston, so that city can maintain its rich socioeconomic, cultural, and racial diversity.
On 1/20/17, over 2000 people including 60+ grassroots organizations - lead by the people most affected by Trump's policies - converged in the streets. We pledged to RISE, RESIST, and PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES - as and with low-income folks, people of color, LGBTQ folks, women, immigrants, the displaced, with various dis/abilities. Sign up for City Life/Vida Urbana's action alerts at http://www.clvu.org/stay_in_touch!
Victory for low-income tenants: 59 apartments in Dorchester and Mattapan were converted into deed-restricted affordable housing! The conversion happened after the apartments were purchased by Codman Square Community Development Corporation (CSNDC), a local non-profit developer. After the former landlord went bankrupt, the tenants, along with the Boston Public Health Commission, held claims against the bankruptcy estate in excess of $3,500,000. Leveraging their claims, the tenants helped CSNDC buy the building, committing to waive the claims if CSNDC won the bid.
CONGRATULATIONS to the powerful tenants who won this victory along with an incredible pro-bono legal team including Goulston & Storrs, Greater Boston Legal Services, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and support from the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development.
WHEN WE FIGHT, WE WIN! Read the article from the Dorchester Reporter:
by Maria Christina Blanco 128.20inf on September 21, 2016
We're part of a nationwide wave of actions sweeping 50 cities across the country on 9.22.16, the #RentersDayofAction! Read here about national actions including marches, banner drops, sit-ins, land occupations, and civil disobedience... and check out the national Facebook event for up-to-the-minute reports and coverage.
Here in Boston, City Life/Vida Urbana is joining with our local Right to the City partners in a MASS ACTION bringing together renters, homeowners, and homeless folks.
Jim Brooks, a former organizer with City Life/Vida Urbana and a lifelong disability justice activist, passed away this spring. This well-deserved obituary beautifully chronicles Jim's life: "Using a wheelchair to get around, and relying on his unfettered spirit to bring him beyond barriers that block the way of those who can’t walk, Mr. Brooks lived on his own terms as he worked for decades to expand access to the disabled in Greater Boston...In more recent years, Mr. Brooks staffed the phones in the City Life/Vida Urbana offices, and on occasion chained himself to the railings of houses to try to prevent landlords from evicting tenants. 'Up until he died he was defending people from being thrown out of their houses,' [Brian] Shea said."
Mayor Walsh, Boston's displacement crisis is a racial equity issue. We need stronger protections from eviction, not resegregation. Take a stand with us for Just Cause legislation this spring! Boston residents, Call Mayor Walsh TODAY at (617) 635-4500.
by Maria Christina Blanco 128.20inf on April 19, 2016
City Life Vida Urbana proudly stands up for Boston residents
The City Life family unapologetically fights for social, economic, racial, and gender justice and equity. We view the current displacement crisis as an issue of racial equity, as well as economic and housing justice. We will keep fighting unjust, forced displacement until our entire communities’ right to remain in affordable, quality housing is protected by policy and practice.
We target any big bank or corporate landlord who uses their power to drive displacement. We organize tenants in buildings where the landlord has more than 6 units and doesn't owner-occupy.
Our goal: stabilize families and neighborhoods in the short-term by fighting displacement, and long-term through promoting community control of housing. For homeowners in foreclosure, this means loan modifications, buy-backs, or sales to nonprofits at real value. For tenants of absentee landlords, it means rental contracts with fair, predictable increases linked to the cost of maintaining the property; and/or sales to new owners based on the building's established income stream, rather than speculation.
We always seek to negotiate. We encourage banks and corporate landlords to work with tenants, not against them. And,we refer disputes between owners and tenants living in the same building to impartial mediators and neutral sources of information on the rights of each side.
We stand with the 26 School Street Tenant Association’s efforts to remain in their homes.
A TERRIFIC column on why Boston needs Just Cause protections from eviction just appeared in The Globe! "'There is a housing crisis, but on top of that is a second, overlaying crisis of market pressure and speculative investors,” said Matt Nickell, an attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services. In a place like East Boston, he said, “It’s not uncommon for a landlord to raise the rent three or four times in a single year.' ...The majority of evictions never end up in housing court or on a city’s record books. Most are brutally fast, whole families gone within 30 days. No one knows what happens to them — except a few worried neighbors and the homeless shelters searching for more beds." SIGN THE PETITION for JUST CAUSE NOW: http://www.justcauseboston.org/sign_the_petition
by Maria Christina Blanco 128.20inf on March 11, 2016
Are you or people you care about impacted by displacement? Do you think it's unfair how rent increases, no-fault evictions, and foreclosures are pushing our neighbors out of their homes and out of our city? We're part of a growing coalition of over 30 grassroots organizations, unions, and other groups calling for a "Just Cause for Eviction" law in Boston! Our eviction laws have not been reformed in decades, and tenants of absentee landlords and foreclosing banks are in desperate need of protection from the growing epidemic of profit-driven evictions.