Principles and Values

  1. Housing is a human right. Housing should be built and maintained to meet the needs of communities and to provide stability for families and individuals—not to create enormous profit for corporations or anyone.
  2. Grassroots democracy. We make decisions democratically, collectively and transparently. These decisions are always grounded in trust for each other. When differences or conflict arise we engage in honest, face-to-face and respectful dialogue in order to build understanding and unity so we can move forward.
  3. Mutual care, respect, and solidarity. Each personʼs emotional, spiritual and personal well-being is necessary to the health of our organizations and to the movement. We take care of ourselves and each other. One for all, all for one. We donʼt always agree, but we believe in each other and know we need each other to win. We know that we canʼt win unless we are united with other movements fighting for justice, comprehensive liberation and equality.
  4. The people impacted must lead. We believe that in order to win homes for all we need to overturn centuries of racist, sexist, classist and other oppressive policies and attitudes that have impacted our communities. We believe that our movement will be strongest when the most impacted lead the way to transform our world.
  5. Comprehensive liberation. We must imbue the struggle for housing and land justice with the needs of universal liberation. And we cannot begin to speak about widespread emancipation without
  6. Addressing reparations and land sovereignty. Housing and land justice must not be conceived within the capitalist-colonial framework nor ignore the effects of historical and ongoing injustice against blacks, indigenous, and other people of color. Our solutions must address the need for reparations and land sovereignty.
  7. Building people's power. People's power grows as the people acquire complete control and administration of housing, their conditions of life and work, and the economy in general. Meaningful action toward this is what increases our confidence in ourselves, our autonomy, our participation, egalitarianism, and our initiative. Harmful action is whatever reinforces our apathy, our cynicism, new hierarchies, our reliance on others to do things for us, and the degree to which we can be manipulated.
  8. Collective action and direct solutions. We take collective action side-by-side with others to take a stand against unjust laws and policies, defend each other against displacement and shine a light on corporations and individuals who harm our communities. Instead of continuously entrusting our welfare to indirect solutions we cannot meaningfully control, we push for direct solutions that are based on solutions that come from our own direct pushes and not from relying on intermediary individuals, organizations, or institutions.
  9. Land and housing must be collectively-controlled by communities and sustained for future generations. We believe communities must control the resources—including land and housing—in our neighborhoods. We should relate to land and our earth as stewards, respecting the land with future generations in mind.
  10. Self-determination (not service). A healthy tension in our union's nature is to not become a service that reinforces the non-participation of our community. We are not building people's power (principle 7) nor self-determination if we do not implore we who are most affected to get directly involved nor are we changing the dynamics toward participation that is a key feature of oppressive society. To be clear, we do not want to be a simple service for tenants that solves their problems for them. That would only reinforce a key problem of oppression: people relying on external bodies and external persons to solve their problems instead of relying on their latent power to self-determination. We want to struggle side-by-side with tenants to build our collective power, so that we may increase our practical ability to self-govern our communities and access to resources.