We live in a world of abundant resources. Those resources are concentrated in the hands of a few, looking at it from a global perspective. In most any country, the powerful authorities reign over the less fortunate, most vulnerable and marginalized of their citizens. There is a visible and stark racial or socio-economic divide between the mansions and tiny homes, castles and tent cities, luxury rentals and cardboard homes. Why is this okay? I believe in a just solution if we dare to imagine a more equitable society where the distribution of resources are not hoarded by the rich and the powerful.
So, I ask you to imagine housing for everyone! I think we can do it. For starters, there is a critical need to get this done. We are living in a world where images of housing injustice are normalized; all while we become desensitized to the pain and suffering of people who are unsheltered, living precarious lives, and experiencing premature death. The inequitable distribution of housing resources is has become a two-word phrase – housing crisis – that we have come to accept for those who are rent burdened, housing insecure, facing eviction, and displaced. We have come to accept that hundreds of thousands are on waiting lists for public housing, or hoping their number is called for the lotteries for affordable housing. We sit by while private developers and speculators gobble neighborhoods, and at the same time are awarded with huge tax breaks because that’s the only way they will make a few units affordable – we take what we can get, happy for the crumbs of the rotten pie. Everyone should be outraged to the point of disruption of these systemic injustices.
Nonetheless, there are people putting in the work. They are calling attention through their activism, either by writing, protesting, organizing, campaigning or use of guerilla tactics. Recently, in my never-ending research on this topic, I came across a group of activists worthy of mentioning for those interested in answering the question: What are we doing about it?
Streets Kitchen – “a grassroots activist network” works
Housing: Utopian Visions, Radical Dreams
Why is there such a thing as a “tent city?” – Rochester, NY