Zine submission from PGH DSA, received on 10.17.19
This publication was created by members of the Housing Committee of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), with contributions from housing experts and organizations from around the Greater City of Pittsburgh. We are a group of people trying to arm ourselves with the knowledge to control our housing in our communities. As such, we would like to clarify that while this publication was researched and fact-checked to the best of the writers’ abilities, we are not lawyers.
This publication, or any publication that follows it, does not constitute or substitute for legal counsel. We do hope that this zine serves as an educational resource to all who need or read it.
CLICK HERE for a pdf of the zine
[an excerpt from the introduction to the zine]
To our community, comrades, and the people of Pittsburgh:
Shelter from the elements allows humans to carry out our lives. These sheltering structures facilitate our social relationships and build our communities. Housing is among the most immediate human needs and is the foundational element to free, healthy communities and people. It is universal to humans, and therefore housing must be a human right for all those in our global community.
We believe it is morally corrupt and grossly exploitative that humans must toil just to hold on to their living space. Americans have little control of their housing as renters, while landlords control and profit from housing for so many. As a result of this unilateral desire for profit, speculation and gentrification continue to ravage and displace marginalized communities and communities of color. We see and reject this immoral, even violent, process.
We know it is possible to have beautiful, quality, affordable housing that is controlled by the people who live in it. We not only believe that housing is a human right, but that we all have the right to quality housing. Too often, people are too financially or logistically strained to find safe, secure, affordable, and quality housing – and all too often end up with a slumlord. Slum property is not legal, and city law says it may be dealt with by repair, rehabilitation, demolition, or removal. We want to provide resources to renters with exploitative landlords – as well as making others aware of slumlords who take advantage of renters, so that all renters understand their rights, as well as the actions they can take. We hope this zine gives voice to this knowledge and adds the Pittsburgh DSA Housing committee’s voice to those in the Pittsburgh community demanding and fighting for affordable, just housing.
For more about the Pittsburgh chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), check out:
For more zines written by radicals in Pittsburgh, check out the Filler pdf archive.