hey all We, here at what has been historically known as Huffin house, come humbly to the community in an effort to raise funds for changes being made to shift this house to a safe space for queer and Black people, rather than a white-dominant, unsafe space. Because Huffin house has been a staple in the historically, primarily white, bay area punk community, many black people and/or trans people have felt unsafe and unwelcome in the space. Residents of Huffin have been confronted with how problematic the prioritization of white people has been a few times before but the claims were never taken seriously, but we are now on the path to creating a dominantly Black and trans inhabited household. There were people living in Huffin who realized the weight of the issue and made vacancy in the space, giving the one black tenant the opportunity to move in thee other black tenants, shifting the majority to non-white tenants. Three previous white tenants still occupied the space, but one in particular was consistently harmful, and threatened housing on multiple occasions as leverage for his abusive behavior. Among many other things, he uses violent, anti-black language, calling black housemates “aggressive” after his pet was biting and scratching them consistently. He was passive-aggressive in demeanor, and makes little space for others to occupy common areas. He has had a history of abusive behavior towards at least two past and current tenants, including sexual coercion of one that was 19 and the other 21, while he was 35. We have housemates in their early 20s, who he has made comments towards about their clothing and their bodies being exposed. He makes the space very uncomfortable for transgender people, by constant misgendering and disclosing who was “AFAB/AMAB” without any reason to disclose that information. When he was confronted about the issues his racism and transphobia were causing to the other tenants in the house, he would only respond by raising his voice, getting defensive, and taking no time to consider the feelings of the people he had been abusive towards. In these conversations, one other tenant would become aggressively defensive against the other housemates in alliance with him, also disregarding the complaints of FIVE other housemates. Since this has been a regular occurrence, only increasing in frequency, we have collectively asked him to leave. Our other housemate was told that if she decided to prioritize her black housemates, and participate in the improvement of the space, she should stay residing in the house. She declined the invitation, and emailed the landlords saying she was in a “hostile” environment and felt marginalized and unsafe here. She is white-passing, and these claims are excessive and violent. This is one example, but both of them have used their relationship with the landlords as a weapon when confronted with their behavior towards their black and/or trans housemates. Now, the two are scheduled to leave by the beginning of August and beginning of September. The house has been through a lot with its previous occupants, and is in dire need of repairs. We have to replace many of our broken appliances, re-laminate the kitchen, remove the moldy countertops, among many other things. We have already repainted the bathroom, removed moldy caulking from the shower, and have repaired the lighting and faucets. All this labor was fronted financially by black people living here, and all of the labor performed by black and/or trans tenants as well. Over one thousand dollars have been spent, and many hours have been dedicated to making this happen. Now we are in need of funding to continue our work towards a safe, clean environment for more black trans people to occupy the spaces opening when the prior residents, those that have been perpetrators of violence, leave. We’re hoping to hoping to raise roughly 15k, this we’ll use to cover taking the large amounts of bulky trash left behind by previous residents to the dump, disposing of/ replacing broken appliances and moldy countertops/cabinets, and replacing the flooring, which has been ripped off and is now exposing the sub-flooring in the kitchen. These are just a few of our goals, but the whole building needs to be deep cleaned, walls need to be repaired, doors need to be replaced, and the floors are splintering because they are unfinished, raw wood. Thank you for reading this far, and we hope you can support us in this time! If you can’t donate, please share this fundraiser so we may provide better housing for all of the tenants in this building! Our beneficiary will be Rya-Nalani Delana Cotton, a tenant on the property who will be safely giving the funds to us to complete the projects

Organizer and beneficiary

Tea Sherman-Kennedy
Oakland, CA
Nalani Cotton

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