|Title:||COVID-19 Tenant Protection and Rent Strikes|
|Authors:||The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, in collaboration with the Mapping Action Collective, Tenants Together, and the Bay Area Rent Strike|
COVID-19 has exacerbated existing housing injustice throughout the US and beyond, making it increasingly impossible for those who rent their homes to work and pay rent. In most US cities, renters make up the majority of residents: for example, Los Angeles and New York are 64% and 67% renters, respectively. Evictions and houselessness were already on the rise prior to the pandemic, and are only expected to become more prevalent without the enactment of stronger tenant protections, as residents lose income and incur unavoidable medical and childcare expenses. The landscape of housing in each city, locality, and region is varied and unequal—and the diversities of housing types, landlord-tenant power structures, level of access to services, and pre-existing protections all inform the housing justice movement’s call for immediate, broad renter protections to curb the impending tide of displacement from COVID-19’s secondary economic and household finance effects. Making sure renters know what their rights are during this time is crucial to keeping them housed and safe during this global pandemic. Further, by informing policymakers and residents of the menu of available, implementable responses to this crisis, the tool expands the scope of realizable politics and policies for both the immediate term and the time to come.
Produced by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, “COVID-19 Emergency Tenant Protections & Rent Strikes” (pictured above) maps tenant protections and rent strikes in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based upon crowdsourced data as well as research by members of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP) and partner organizations, this map visualizes ongoing housing justice work in the US and beyond. Viewers can use one of two forms to either add information about a tenant protection in their respective city, county, or state, or about a rent strike that they are a part of. While the rent strike data is international, the tenant protection is currently US focused (but is in the process of expanding in global scope). While the AEMP maintains close relationships with a number of tenant organizations and networks, this development of this map has in particular has relied upon collaboration with the Portland-based Mapping Action Collective, the California-statewide organization, Tenants Together, and Bay Area Rent Strike (BARS) organizers. Our global version is currently being orchestrated with research collaboration and translation support from the Radical Housing Journal, kollektiv orangotango, and more. It will include multilingual global anti-eviction policies around rent strike information.
The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP) is a data visualization, data analysis, and digital storytelling collective documenting dispossession and resistance in gentrifying landscapes. It performs research, gathers oral histories, and makes maps and web tools in partnership with housing justice organizations and communities. AEMP launched in 2013 in the San Francisco Bay Area and has additional chapters in Los Angeles and New York City, all of which have collaborated on this map.