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.
RSVP for the hearing on Facebook HERE.
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!
Report Release: Eviction, Health, and Stabilization in Boston | A community-academic collaboration of MIT, CLVU, and the Right to Remain Coalition
This week, the release of a Rapid Health Impact Assessment of the proposed Just Cause Eviction Ordinance for Boston - months in the making - coincided with the formal filing of the legislation, after over a year of public debate and advocacy. The study was conducted by a team of graduate students at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies & Planning, guided by City Life/Vida Urbana members and organizers, in collaboration with the Right to Remain Coalition. It was funded by the Health Impact Project.
- Based on a literature review and input from stakeholders, this RHIA assesses the impact of the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance on factors that affect health, including stress and environmental exposures, and health conditions, including depression and substance use disorder.
- The populations most vulnerable to “no-cause” evictions in Boston struggle with disadvantages on several fronts, from educational attainment and income levels to physical and mental health challenges.
- Health effects for Boston renters stem from two predicted consequences of the ordinance: reduced incidence of eviction and reduced anticipation of eviction.
- The assessment finds that the ordinance may prevent eviction for a small number of people, but the health benefits for these people may be substantial. In contrast, the number of people who may experience reduced anticipation of eviction as a result of the ordinance is much larger – potentially the entire population of Boston renters, or over 400,000 people.
If the Boston City Council adopts the Just Cause Eviction Ordinance and investigates and implements additional policies to reduce the overall incidence of eviction in Boston, it will likely improve renters’ health.
Click "read more" to see the executive summary, download the full report, get a plain-language version of the summary & report plus a discussion guide, and see a media roundup and more links on housing, displacement, and health.Read more
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:
Join the City Life/Vida Urbana community at our Annual Meeting and Pot Luck Celebration
Saturday, October 29, 2016
* Note new location
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.Read more
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.
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