Minority American families have struggled to generate a foundation of wealth. Historically, minority populations have been denied awareness and, therefore, opportunities for financial education and vehicles to independently build wealth. This failure has resulted in systemic and systematic poverty.
Housing Joint Venture is leading a grassroots Economic Rights Movement (ERM).
By developing a vehicle to finance and direct resources, the ERM will facilitate conversation and action towards housing justice and related economic drivers. Accomplishing these political objectives begins with providing a space for education and insight on key hindrances pervasive within urban core communities.
Housing justice is the first priority for ERM by securing sustainable, budget-friendly housing with decent living standards. Interestingly, urban core neighborhoods are undergoing rapid revitalization and price appreciation nationwide.
Housing is a key component of our focus on helping people and communities of color move from economic instability to economic vitality and mobility. There is a long history of government policies that facilitated disproportionate wealth accumulation in America. Based on data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finance, the typical black family has only 10 cents for every dollar held by the typical white family.
The ERM has a vision that by 2030, urban core neighborhoods will have access to reputable public education systems, healthy food options, and quality transportation. Our proactive organization will work to close the gap for neighborhoods whose main attribute is the location but currently lacks the ancillary amenities that create neighborhood vitality.
This is What Housing Justice Looks Like According to ERM:
- Provide renters with the opportunity and financing to purchase their units
- Expand public housing
- Protect elderly and long-term homeowners from property tax increases
- Enforce building codes and offer easy options for renters to report bad landlords
- Negotiate payment plans with homeowners who have fallen behind on their property taxes
- Establish community benefits agreements with investors in large projects
- Offer developers higher levels of density in return for preserving more affordable housing units in their projects
- Establish a loan fund to help small business owners buy their buildings
- Establish a fund to increase
Individuals who work towards accomplishing the goals of ERM will receive skilled-jobs training through a variety of industries that will provide decent wages and high employment opportunities. Example industries include, but are not limited to, agriculture, software, manufacturing, and construction.
To this end, ERM will create a viable solution to homelessness and simultaneously forge a pathway for homeownership through increased financial stability and education. Residents of urban core neighborhoods will experience a renewed sense of pride and improved health outcomes as a result of housing stability and neighborhood vitality.
ERM is a product of the following realizations learned from historic and contemporary efforts:
1. There is a lack of progressive leadership in minority communities.
2. The current political parties don’t represent minorities well.
3. Large-scale change cannot commence without a vehicle to finance and direct resources to political objectives.
4. The best outcomes are the result of productive conversations.
5. Participation requires education and insight on key issues.
By ensuring basic needs and stability for everyday citizens, America can freely create and innovate at a much faster rate. America has goals for high production, increased economic growth, and technological advancement. Stability and growth for all must be built upon a stable foundation that includes housing justice.
America’s true path to excellence begins with a skilled workforce and educated minds to address pressing global issues such as climate change and outdated infrastructure. This movement for economic rights starts now. Taking advantage of the longest economic expansion in American history presents an unprecedented opportunity to move away from the ‘have’ and ‘have-not’ to the “have and have more”. We can mobilize resources now to ensure that no populations are left behind in the future.
The Pillars of the Economic Rights Movement
- Inclusive Development – A developed nation does not consist of a developed few. The growing minority population shall receive skilled trades training in ‘future industries’ such as green energy, software, and more. In addition, minority businesses will be leaders in development projects.
- Socio-Economic Development – Minority populations shall have the capacity and potential to develop equally through access to capital, education, and healthcare.
- Mobility – Public transportation shall be efficient, quality, and plentiful in all corners of cities. This transportation will allow families to get to their jobs, schools, and city halls.
- Sustainability – Not only will workers be trained for the green jobs of the future, but properties and homes currently occupied by minority families will be preserved. Communities and partners will work together to adapt and reuse buildings with the goal of minimizing environmental impact and sustaining culture.
- Housing Justice – Buying and owning a home is not an American past-time, but an American privilege. The Economic Rights Movement will push policy and programs to encourage homeownership for minority communities who have not had a stake or say in their occupied premises. Homelessness shall be eliminated, along with slums and ghettos. All residents shall live in decent spaces and will no longer be taken advantage of.
ERM is the foundation of Housing Joint Venture’s mission of belonging and pride for all people.