USA: Rent strike declarations

Across the country some have already declared that they will refuse to pay rent on April first. Here are some of their declarations.

Station 40 (San Francisco)

Dear friends of Station 40,
We decided tonight that we’re going on rent strike. The urgency of the moment demands decisive and collective action. We are doing this to protect and care for ourselves and our community. Now more than ever, we refuse debt and we refuse to be exploited. We will not shoulder this burden for the capitalists. Five years ago, we defeated our landlord’s attempt to evict us. We won because of the the solidarity of our neighbors and our friends around the world. We are once again calling on that network. Our collective feels prepared for the shelter-in-place that begins at midnight throughout the bay area. The most meaningful act of solidarity for us in this moment is for everyone to go on strike together. We will have your back, as we know you will have ours. Rest, pray, take care of each other.

Everything for everyone!
The residents of Station 40.

Read an interview with residents of Station 40 about their decision to go on rent strike

Fortnight Bar (Providence, RI)

As everyone is surely more than aware, we are now in a moment of “self-isolation” and “social distancing” with a more formal lockdown very likely on the way. These measures, while socially necessary to prevent the spread of the disease, have devastating economic consequences which disproportionately affect low-income families, precarious workers, and other disenfranchised members of our community.
Some voices are now calling for suspension of rent and mortgage payments during this period. In the first instance we would like to add our voice to that call.
Beyond this however, we, as anarchists, believe that the first and essential tool of change is not government fiat and lobbying, but rather direct action taken by regular people to make the changes we want to see. As such we add to the call for such a suspension with a call for a rent and mortgage *strike* during the crisis. We think that the first step to changing the rules right now is collective refusal.
We are calling on everyone—individuals, business, non-profits, and any other entity that has rent or mortgage obligations—not only to withhold payments, but to publicly commit to doing so. While the world grinds to a halt, we refuse to continue to dutifully pay crippling amounts for basic needs. This is evil in the best of times; this crisis highlights its banality as well as its brutality. When it has become impossible for so many of us to work, there is no alternative except to stand together and say: Rent Strike Now! Mortgage Strike Now!
This means: do not pay your next rent or mortgage payment. Instead, send a message that you will not be paying (check back for form letters to banks and landlords). This means repost this message and image. This means sign on to the rent/mortgage strike commitment form (link in bio). It’s particularly important for people who are financially secure and able to pay their rent or mortgage to show solidarity with those who are unable to at the moment by not paying. This is how we create the pressure to make this strike effective.

Mac Properties Tenants (Chicago, IL)

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, a group of Mac Properties tenants are asking for the cancellation of April rents, and they are threatening to begin a rent strike if the company does not comply.
“Many of us are students, many of us are workers, and we depend on our work to pay our rents,” one tenant and organizer of the action, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Herald. “We’re not gonna be able to (pay), so we’re trying to get Mac to cancel rent for the month of April.”
The organizer said that the demands originated from a group of Mac tenants living in a couple of different buildings, and that “several dozen” people are involved. At the moment, they are calling the Mac offices, 1364 E. 53rd St., and demanding that rents be canceled — according to the organizer, the property management company has told them that there is “not even a consideration to do so.”
“So far the response has been a refusal,” they said. “It shows a real callousness that they won’t even consider our proposal, which is only in line with what folks are literally able to pay.”

Portland Tenants United (Portland, OR)

Rent Strike: April 1st, May 1st, and Beyond!

Autonomous organizers in Portland, OR are coordinating a citywide rent strike in response to the layoffs and hour cuts resulting from COVID-19 related closures of businesses throughout the state. We are in solidarity with strikers across so-called North America, and internationally! Please use our graphics, template letters, outreach materials if you find them helpful.
We are coordinating eviction defense, legal aid, and mutual aid networks. If you’re local, hit us up online or at our email, pdxrentstrike [at] protonmail [dot] com. We need your solidarity and cooperation! If you’re outside of the Portland, OR area, consider linking up with local tenant unions and rent strike organizers to help them out, or starting your own strike!
We are organizing for April 1, but we plan to make monthly pushes for building the strike! We have materials aimed at promoting April 1, May 1, and more as befits your particular organizing schedule, local situation, and immediate needs. Please contact us for more information, advice, and resources!

TANC, Tenant And Neighborhood Councils (Bay Area, CA)

Bay Area City officials ordered businesses to close and residents to stay home. But their order has no provision for our lost wages. Their order does not address the fact that our rent is still due. Their order says nothing about our real necessities, like food, household supplies, and healthcare. In other words, their order has nothing to say about our survival through April 7 and beyond it, for the duration of the pandemic. The government has neglected to provide people with a way to live, even as the state offers businesses generous loans and bailouts to get through the crisis. If the government will not help us, then we must take matters into our own hands.

At this point, we cannot trust city governments to provide for our needs. This trust was frayed long before the pandemic. For the last decade, our government has been enriching the real estate market and corporations at our expense. Skyrocketing rents, rising prices, homeless encampments, stagnating wages, and the undoing of Black and brown communities are all part of the brutal treatment of the Bay’s working-class. Though the state and local government has given some concessions, like Alameda County’s moratorium on evictions, these are not comprehensive enough to protect us during this crisis. Absent any provision for lost wages and our collective health, this shelter-in-place order is just another instance of cruelty. Enough! If the government will not ensure our wellbeing, then we must organize to defend ourselves.

If we have no wages, then we cannot be expected to pay rent. We demand rent suspensions from every landlord effective immediately. The fact that anybody has to fear being evicted because of their inability to pay rent during a global health pandemic demonstrates the utter wickedness of this system. During this crisis, rent must be completely forgiven; there should be no expectation to pay it now, or “back pay” it in the future.

Nobody should profit from this crisis.

We need to get organized to prepare for the social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis now. We can’t afford to wait until people have run out of money. We can’t have one more person on the street! Every person in this society has already suffered enough from the pandemic.

What we need:
1- Suspend Rent Now. Immediate suspension of rent pending livable wages and good health.
2- Rent Forgiveness. Rent forgiveness for suspension period. No backrent, no evictions, no retaliation.

Groups in the US:
Events in the US:

Rent Strike
It’s Going Down
TANC (Tenant And Neighborhood Councils)