On Monday November 17th, over 100 people took to the streets of Queen Anne marching from Seattle Center to the Seattle Housing Authority board of commissioners meeting. At the meeting, dozens of folks gave public comment about SHA’s Stepping Forward proposal, and presented a sign on letter with thirty groups representing community groups, political organizations, and labor, asking when will SHA announce their rejection of the Stepping Forward proposal.
Unfortunately, Andrew Lofton, executive director of the Seattle Housing Authority made no commitments, and explained to the group–toward the end of the meeting–that the proposal would come back up at a later date. Tenants were not satisfied with this response, and responded in a coordinated action of call and response resulting in a complete halt at the Board of Commissioners meeting. Tenants said “Our input has not been delay the proposal. Our input has not been consider a hardship policy. We said no!”.
Click here to see pictures from the action!
SHA Board of Commissioners: Vote NO on Stepping Forward Rent Increases
March and Demonstration
Monday, November 17th
Meet at 4PM at the International Fountain at Seattle Center (305 Harrison Street Seattle, WA 98109)
The Board of Commissioners Meeting begins at 5PM at 190 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109.
Seattle Housing Authority tenants have been organizing against SHA’s Stepping Forward rent increase proposal since August, but SHA still refuses to STOP Stepping Forward! Stepping Forward would increase rents over five years for 7,000 “work-able” tenants so high that after five years, they will need to earn between $16 and $20 an hour just to afford rent.
Tenants are demanding that the SHA Board of Commissioners votes “NO” on Stepping Forward and any other proposal where rent is not based on tenants’ incomes. Stand in solidarity with them against this unfair rent policy on SHA’s own turf and tell the Board to vote “NO” against Stepping Forward rent increases!
We will meet at the International Fountain at Seattle Center and march together to the SHA office (a 7-minute walk or roll) at 190 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109. The Board of Commissioners meeting begins at 5pm.
Stop SHA Rent Hikes Protest at City Hall
Friday, October 24th, 3 pm
City Hall, 600th Fourth Ave.
Tenants understand that the Seattle Housing Authority’s “Stepping Forward” proposal will be a disaster for families. It would raise rents by over 400% and force thousands out of the city or into homelessness.
A mass movement can defeat Stepping Forward, and we are off to a great start! Community members, immigrant women, and young people voiced overwhelming opposition at every SHA public hearing. At the Yesler Community Center we rallied, at New Holly we took control of the meeting, and at High Point we walked out.
Because of our protests, the Seattle City Council sent a letter explicitly opposing Stepping Forward. But more is needed to get the SHA to back down. Come join tenants, community members, and affordable housing advocates at a protest at City Hall to demand:
- Scrap SHA’s Stepping Forward
- Expand high quality publicly owned housing
- Put tenant activists on the Mayor’s affordable housing committee
- For transparency on the SHA Board of Commissioners
- Tenants must have a say in who is appointed to the SHA Board, and appointees must have a record of fighting for tenants
Questions? Contact Questions? Contact Abdi Mohamed: 206-802-4381; firstname.lastname@example.org or Denechia Powell at 206-722-6848 ext.102 or email Denechia at email@example.com.
The City Council is holding a briefing on Stepping Forward this Monday, September 22nd. Currently, no public comment is allowed at the briefing. Turn out to let council know they need to hear from their constituents about how backwards Stepping Forwards really is!
City Council Briefing on ‘Stepping Forward’
Monday, September 22nd, 9AM
600 4th avenue
September 17th, 4:45PM
Outside the Yesler Community Center: 917 E Yesler Way, Seattle, Washington 98122
The Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) want to push “work-able” tenants out of their housing by increasing tenants’ rents over six years with a proposed rent policy called Stepping Forward. This harmful policy will only lead to evictions and displacement of Seattle’s most marginalized residents.
Join SHA tenants as they defend their right to housing!
After the rally & press conference, please stick around for the public hearing on Stepping Forward at 6pm. For more information about the TU’s campaign to stop Stepping Forward, visit https://stopsha.wordpress.com/