Tenant and Neighborhood Councils (TANC) is a member-run housing organization built out of the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America. We encourage all tenants of private landlords, unhoused people, and public housing residents, to join us in organizing councils.
Existing avenues for combating rising rents, slumlord behavior, and evictions are channeled through non-profit organizations. These types of organizations, while a critical resource for tenants, do not necessarily challenge the larger structural dilemma that we face—the subjugation of housing under capitalism.
Effectively challenging well-heeled landlords, developers, and state managers depends on moving beyond individual relationships to landlords and towards organizing collectively as tenants against each and all landlords. Only then can we build our capacity to fight back against the forces that structure our lives.
Capitalism spurs investors and speculators to treat housing as storage containers for wealth with high rates of return rather than places to call home. From the history of the housing struggle across the country, we have seen that it is often the most precarious among us who are pushed out of our homes, made to live on the street, or forced into squalid living conditions. Throughout history, working class people—and especially working class people of color— have fought against discrimination, exploitation, and displacement. The history of housing struggles reveal our particular housing problems as collective ones that arise from capitalist housing market.
We understand our struggles as being interconnected, and our organizing against those who profit massively from precarity and misery in our daily lives follows this insight. We are building power towards a future where housing is constructed and allocated according to necessity—not according to profit.