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Greetings, neighbors and friends!
Welcome to the first newsletter of the Greater Harrisburg Tenants United (GHTU). You’re receiving this because you expressed an interest in helping keep renters in their homes, or reached out to us about your own struggle. You can unsubscribe anytime with the link at the bottom of this message.

We will use this newsletter to keep you updated about the work we're doing, and opportunities for you to get involved.  We aim for you to receive it on the first of every month, in the hopes it can be a small antidote to the rent being due.

GHTU is building tenant power, pushing back against the eviction crisis through a variety of efforts. Keep reading to find out more about our work.
Photo credit: Jelani Splawn
What is a tenants union?
Think about how labor unions organize workers to come together and bargain for their pay, benefits, and workplace protections. The actors in that case are the workers, the union, and the boss or management. In a tenants union, the main actors are tenants, the tenant union, and the landlord.

A tenant union builds confidence for those who often have the least power in society and helps them exercise direct democratic power in their political, economic, and personal lives.  We are ultimately stronger when we stand together! 

 
“I’m like everybody else, my life is in someone else’s hands"
 
- Reginald, a Harrisburg tenant facing eviction
Check out this interview with one Harrisburg man facing eviction.  Photos and interview by GHTU member Jelani Splawn.


Reginald, pictured above and to the right, at his home in Harrisburg.

 
GHTU pushes Harrisburg City Council to respond to the eviction crisis
GHTU met with Harrisburg City Councilors and mounted a write-in campaign during City Council's 2021 budget hearings that lead to positive results for Harrisburg renters.

During budget hearings, several members wrote personal statements to the City Council and the Mayor asking that additional funds be allocated toward housing assistance. GHTU signed a letter collectively outlining the vast impact of the eviction crisis in Harrisburg and suggesting that funds be directed away from the Harrisburg Police Department and toward rental assistance.
 
Although we were unsuccessful in getting money reallocated during the budget hearings, GHTU was involved in the passing of the City’s temporary emergency eviction moratorium.  Many of our concerns with the moratorium were addressed, resulting in a much stronger moratorium in Harrisburg than was recently passed down from the federal government.  We were also among the voices that encouraged the city to provide financial relief to renters, resulting in a rent relief program.
Find us in the news!
We are hard at work raising awareness of the eviction crisis and the effects of COVID-19 on our community.

These articles illustrate how dire the eviction crisis is and the cost of inaction. 
Nightline: The eviction crisis across the United States is the “greatest eviction crisis we have ever seen in our country,” affecting Black and Latino neighborhoods 2x as hard as white neighborhoods.

CBS Local 21 News: Despite the CDC eviction moratorium, landlords have found loopholes.

The Burg: Harrisburg residents face eviction during a pandemic

Tenant Run

Tenant Organized

Tenant Led

We are a group of united tenants and allies, working toward equality and dignity for renters in the Harrisburg area. Our members volunteer their time or knowledge to support renters' rights. 

Volunteering is the lifeblood of this organization and it helps shape who we are and who we will be. The best part about it is anyone can do it!  Together we can work to stop the oppression of renters and take back our rights!

Some current volunteer needs:

Help us organize local tenant groups
Help to develop bylaws for GHTU
Assist with answering our tenant hotline

If you are interested or have any questions, contact us at ghbgtenantsunited@gmail.com or message us on any of our social media pages linked below.

Photo credit: Jelani Splawn
Facebook
Instagram
Website
Greater Harrisburg Tenants United
www.harrisburgtenants.org

Contact us at:
ghbgtenantsunited@gmail.com


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Greater Harrisburg Tenants United · PO Box 62183 · Harrisburg, PA 17106-2183 · USA

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