Housing justice is one of the biggest issues facing people in Iowa City today. In fact, rent is increasing at a rate of over 10% per year in our city. If it continues at this rate, people in Iowa City would be paying an average of $1,800/month for rent by 2023. And that’s just one of the issues on our hands. The power to build and house people in our city in the hands of the few, not the many. This leads to countless tenant abuses, gentrification, and houselessness in our city, and these issues disproportionately impact Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, women, and other marginalized groups.
How do we fight back?
As democratic socialists, we know that the best way to protect one another and ensure none of us are displaced or treated unfairly is to build a movement together. Whether dealing with choosing between rent and food, or unfair treatment from a landlord, when we organize together as neighbors, we have the power to create change. When residents of an apartment complex, neighborhood, or city organize together in this manner, that’s called a tenants union--and that’s exactly our first plan of action at Iowa City DSA.
If you’re interested in joining a tenants union, you may sign up here. Volunteer and stand up with your fellow tenants! A better community is possible!
And remember, there’s no reason to be afraid of your landlord. Iowa law prevents a landlord from retaliating against tenants who are members of a renters union or association.
Medium and long term? We know there are more than enough resources in this city, state, and country to give every single person a safe and dignified place to live.