Interested in Housing Debt and Organizing? Say hello below!

Hi there (@housing_debt) ,

well now, here we are, end of 2020 and at the brink of what could be a massive wave of evictions wrapped in unplayable back rents that turn into predatory collection debts.
As it stands today, there would have to be an immediate miracle from congress or this administration to avoid any of this. Let us not hold our breath, rather let us get organized.
:house: :fist: :houses: :red_square: :fist_right: :moneybag: :fist_left: :red_square: :house: :fist: :houses:

Hello and welcome if you are facing eviction or might have to worry about it. You do not have to face this alone, and if you are not already connected to local tenant unions in your neighborhood, this is a good place to get started. meeting folks and learning about eviction defense.

Hello and welcome if you are already an organizer, or just care about housing issues and want to be a part of conversations, strategies and ways to move towards restorative solutions for the people. Then you are in a good place too. start by saying hello and introducing yourself.

-----:wave: me, name is dawn
I was evicted in 2014. Got served Xmas Eve. Was out and moved into my car by New Years and moving along a long 5 year cycle of housing issues. IMHO, I think our current housing crisis that is in every state, reflects the toxic effects of colonization and how capitalism treats people on stolen land. Covid is only showing us loud and clear we are all connected and vulnerable when we do not need to be. The public deserves housing and we will have to build collective power to claim this as truth and make it possible.

solidarity,
dawn

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Thanks for your heartful message Dawn. My sister, mother and I are all housing insecure in South Dakota and Oregon. The issue has been documented in our family as far back as the Ft. Laramie Treaty times. Gentrification spans the globe and our friends in El Salvador experience similar issues with access to survival resources. We understand our lives in context. Although we are aware of tenants unions and the like, we have not been able to access ongoing support that breaks the cycles of housing and economic insecurity that defines our lives. We need legal and financial support. Please do not send us to 211 or any of the other bandaid organizations that keep the public in a cloud of ignorance as to what is really happening for poor people in the trenches, we need radical solutions to extreme circumstances. Thanks in advance for reaching out, WE FOLLOW LEADS!!

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My partner drives for Lyft, we’re both partially disabled and trying to file for disability. I have $600.00 IRS debt and over $100,000.00 student loan debt (in $0 IBR since 2012), my partner has $28,000.00 car loan and $40,000.00 IRS debt due to early withdrawals from 401k to pay gentrifying “small mom & pop” landlords since 2015. Among other exploitative behavior, they tried to evict us during the pandemic, we refused to leave until we found affordable housing (July 2020), now they’re claiming we owe over $10,000.00 in back rent as “holdover tenants,” and are unwilling to give us any break on that amount We’re dues-paying members of a tenants’ union, but they only work “within the law” (that protects property owners, not tenants) against large corporate landlords, in cases they can easily win. Our question is: to avoid the additional stress and expense of litigation, should we work out a plan to repay the landlords? Or should we pay the IRS first? And what can we do about the tax liability of both the 401K withdrawals, and of my remaining student loan balance when it’s forgiven in 2037? When we asked these questions in a “student loan debt workshop” hosted by our state’s AG (whose staff spent much of the workshop saying things like, “Just keep recertifying, and in 25 or so years the debt will disappear,” we didn’t get clear answers. Thank you.

Also, we’ve been ageing, targeted activists since 2010, so whatever we do can’t expose us to more surveillance and LE harassment than we’ve already survived since then. As leftists we’re suspicious of mainstream Democratic party “solutions” like “$600 vs $2000 stimulus checks,” “$10,000 student loan forgiveness,” etc…

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Hi there, We should set up a call to chat. I will send you a direct message to get this arranged.

Kindly,
dawn

hello Star and Dawn, are you two still active here? I am still drowning in Student loan, housing/utilities and IRS debt. Any new leads? I’ve got my landlord on the CA Housing is Key program so I hope that works through okay. I went through BACS to get the landlord some of the back rent but it was only half so I was really happy to see the Housing is Key program. Be advised on the BACS culture, there is a woman in program steps in when you ask for help a second time around. Tries to run you off by asking “what is wrong with you” and implies you are doing something wrong by making more than one request for assistance. They drag their feet on second applications and push you around if you try to hold them to account. My sister had the same experience in South Dakota through SD Housing Authority. They all get FED money to distribute but act like it’s coming straight out of their personal bank account. Gatekeepers a real problem, the scripts are so old school, probably written by Ronald Reagan. Of course, they depend on the poor to justify their salaries and don’t have any problem proving their worth by tracking how many times we have to call them back to find out why the application has been sitting for a month. Covid made a big change in the culture at Alameda County social services. The process for applying, recertifying and communicating got a lot easier and feels less invasive. More empathy in the scripts and attitude. We know when these systems are working FOR or AGAINST. For now it seems that IRS reform will depend on backlash and I don’t see it happening. People in general seem to really believe that it’s tax dollars that maintain a comfortable lifestyle for the majority. Even after a pandemic people are lining up to pay their taxes dutifully. And we know why, economic terrorism works.

As for the IRS, still haven’t changed any of the rules on deductions to reflect how stay at home workers are paying for their office expenses while the IRS still courts the owners. Reflects an extremely slow to change system that continues to benefit from a vintage form of paternalism and maintains an untouchable status as far as accountability goes. In addition, despite the widely publicized service called Tax Payer Advocacy there is very limited support for citizens dealing with the IRS. The professional classes including lawyers, nonprofit organizations and accounting professionals claim to be in service to the poor provide just exactly the same information that anyone can google online. There’s zero will on the part of the professional classes to push harder for reform and strike support. We are really working with a “helping” system that is a fraud and facade. Keeps the middle class anxiety from going full throttle but leaves the poor in worse and worse circumstances. Can’t say how many times I’ve given up on the legal clinics. Their eligibility criteria extremely narrow and the staff so scripted hardly of any meaningful use to anyone. Same with the State Bar pretending to provide legal support to those that can’t afford it. Been going on so long no one even acknowledges that its a scam made out of virtue signaling to benefit the most hated profession in the world.
Leaves poor people in a real tight spot.

Talking about it really does spread the discontent and we need people to become disgusted and uncooperative more than sympathetic. If I learned anything by striking student loan debt on my own for 30 years it’s that you can’t get very far on your own. You can keep them off but at a great cost to yourself. The Debt Collective got it right, we have to get together.

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