Resisting Displacement in the Southwest Bronx: Lessons from CASA's Tenant Organizing

by Alexa Kasdan; Harry DeRienzo; Chris Walters; Emily Goldstein; Sydney Cespedes; Adrien Weibgen; Erin Markman

May 18, 2017

CASA is proud to present our new white paper, Resisting Displacement: Lessons from CASA's Tenant Organizing in the Southwest Bronx!

In the last year, CASA has organized or provided technical assistance to over 90 buildings, which are home to more than 7,000 families. In the last year alone, over 4,000 tenants have actively engaged in CASA's work. Our new white paper shares lessons in tenant organizing, explores the forces of displacement that we are up against, and solutions for fighting displacement in the context of an impending rezoning.

This is a critical moment for the Southwest Bronx. A potential rezoning is imminent, and could have devastating impacts on low-income tenants of color, their communities, and the state of affordable housing. CASA has drawn on our organizing experience, coalition work, previous research and the experiences of the tenants we work with to draft this white paper.

In the report we:

  • Present a clear and accurate definition of displacement and counter the false assertion that most tenants leave neighborhoods by choice;
  • Explain the tactics that landlords already use to exert displacement pressures on low-income tenants of color;
  • Emphasize the risk of increased displacement posed by rezoning, and in particular the Jerome Avenue rezoning, when new housing is not genuinely affordable and there are insufficient protections against displacement;
  • Offer solutions that would protect tenants from displacement, allow them to remain in their homes, and preserve their communities.