We the Reclaimers are housing and human social rights advocates who are in need of stable housing. We have worked with community leaders to take this reclaiming action in order to pressure the State of California to open up the thousands of properties that they have so that they can be rented as affordable housing. We are also asking to open up empty properties owned by the counties, cities and school districts throughout California during this shelter in place period of the health crisis. We want to highlight the homelessness and housing affordability crisis. Everyone deserves housing and the reclaimers are prepared to pay what they can afford for housing once Caltrans recognizes us as tenants.
The funds we've raised will help us with supplies, furniture, food, and legal fees . We want to thank everyone who has donated in these times of Covid19 and appreciate those will donate to help us survive this pandemic
"Governor Gavin Newsom,
This is to notify you that we, Reclaimers, members of Reclaiming Our Homes, less than an hour ago, have peacefully moved into a State-owned empty house in Los Angeles on the now defunct 710 corridor. We, the Reclaimers, are homeless families that include children as young as 9 months old and elders over 70 that have been living in cars and encampments. We ask that you quickly call Caltrans officials and direct them not to use violence or arrest to resolve this homeless issue.
As you should know, over the last 30 years, Caltrans has preferred to follow an unwritten policy of depopulating the corridor using various means such as; harassment, intimidation, no cause evictions, neglect and rent raises at the rate of 10% every six months to evict tenants. This State Agency, now under your authority, would rather have empty houses than tenants who have been demanding their rights. The result is that over 200 out of 500 original rentals are now empty. This particular State Agency has been part of creating the housing crisis. We instead are occupying several houses, in accordance to your spoken and written policy.
And this is not just about the Caltrans properties. Up and down the state, there is unused public land and property while tens of thousands sleep on our streets each night. We, Reclaimers, demand that all unused and empty State, County, City and School District buildings and properties be immediately used to house the thousands of homeless individuals and families.
The present coronavirus is bringing out the best and worse in us all. It is common knowledge that the public is safer if people have the ability to self-quarantine and safely self-isolate in a home. Also, the State of Michigan is correct in making sure that all families have running water and have reversed a long-time policy of turning off water for non-payment. We ask that you, as Governor, direct Caltrans to allow the new families to immediately turn on their utilities. Heat and electricity are also essential to the well being of the Reclaimers.
Lastly, it is important that you take direct authority over this matter because the Reclaimers have broad support from a community that is fed up with the housing crisis that has millions in California struggling every day just to keep a roof over their heads. In addition to demanding that all publicly-owned vacant housing and property to become homes for people who need them, NOW!, we are calling for the following:
o Housing should be homes for those who need it, not investments for Wall Street speculators.
o Housing must be recognized as a human right in our state constitution.
o We need all levels of government to make a massive investment in public and social housing so that everyone has a home.
The Reclaimers and their vast support networks are ready to help rebuild these homes and this community. However, the Reclaimers are also ready to defend what we consider ours. If the police are called by Caltrans there will potentially be hundreds of arrests, all because we are carrying out your policy in practice.
Although 1 Billion dollars is a good start that we appreciate, we all know that is not nearly sufficient. We want to thank you, in advance, for your policy on homelessness, affordable housing and for any positive intervention such as direct talks, no police violence, allowing the turning on of indispensable utilities, and immediately accepting new tenants into the Caltrans tenant rolls. "
Housing is a Human Right—El Techo es Un Derecho
All Vacant Public Properties for Affordable Housing
- Akua Nkansah-Amankra
- Joseph Bobman
- Samantha Curley
Organizer and beneficiary
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