- Housing is a human right
- Community control of land and housing
Why we fight
Housing is a fundamental need of all members of society and a key battleground in the broader struggle against corporate control. By fighting for the immediate housing needs of low income people and communities of color whom the richest 1 percent have targeted for exploitation, we hope to build a movement led by frontline communities to transform society and enact racial and economic justice for all.
Through community organizing, protests, direct actions, civil disobedience, and public campaigns, Occupy Homes MN has already raised national awareness about the foreclosure crisis, and demonstrated that organized communities can halt and reverse the foreclosure process.
Now it’s time to build a broader campaign to force the big banks to negotiate with our neighbors, and fight for housing justice for all! Join us!
Principal Reduction - Stop Paying Wall Street's Debt!
- Wall Street, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae manipulated the housing markets for their own profits. Now, around 44% of all homeowners in Central and Powderhorn Park owe more than their homes are worth.
- In our neighborhoods, $52 million in negative equity, bad debt, is being stolen from these underwater homeowners to line the pockets of Wall Street investors. That’s enough to pay the combined yearly budget of Green Central and Bancroft Elementary School for five years.
- We refuse to pay Wall Street’s gambling debts; that money should be given directly back to homeowners, lowering mortgage and rental payments for all, and putting millions into the local economy.
- We need across the board principal reduction. Re-write all mortgages to reflect today’s actual prices, not the inflated prices of Wall Street’s speculation.
Stop Foreclosures - Moratorium Now!
- Almost 3,000 homes are foreclosed on in Minneapolis. This year will be different! We intend to build a movement of thousands of families across the region, with the the support of their neighbors, who stand for housing justice, and refuse to leave their homes.
- Central and Powderhorn neighborhoods are the hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis in South Minneapolis. In total, 835 families have lost their homes since 2007.
- Compared to the rest of the Minneapolis, these neighborhoods have a higher number of black and latino homeowners. They were more likely to be targeted for predatory lending, and are disproportionately affected by the housing crisis.
- City officials and Mayor Rybak should not use our city’s resources, fire department, and police to evict our neighbors because the banks refuse to negotiate.
- We need a moratorium. Stop foreclosures until the banks negotiate with homeowners; no one leaves their home until they have received a good faith negotiation.
Home Liberation - Who's Homes? Our Homes!
- All human beings need access to shelter.
- It is criminal that there are currently 3.5 million homeless people in the country, while 18 million empty houses sit vacant.
- Homelessness in Hennepin county has increased 25% since 2006.
- Every night 500 families are in shelters at maximum capacity and another 800 individuals sleep on the streets.
- One in four homeless people are veterans.
- After we bailed out the banks with trillions of dollars, they owe it to our communities to work with us to help rebuild our neighborhoods and make sure families have access to shelter.
- Turn all the bank-owned vacant homes over to the community to be used as affordable housing, and shelter families who are sleeping in the cold.
Renters Unite - Housing Justice for All!
- Safe and affordable housing is a human right!
- Half of our community rents their home. In addition, the foreclosure crisis has increased demand for rental properties, causing rents to skyrocket.
- Renters are often swindled out of damage deposits, or exploited through other arbitrary fees. This must stop immediately.
- In other cities, rent control ordinances and tenants’ unions have been successful at regulating rental prices, preventing gentrification, addressing unsafe conditions and dealing with neglectful slumlords.
- Renters need a voice. We need to organize a network of renters who can develop grassroots solutions to the issues they face.