Rent Strike 2020 is a response to a signed demand of over 1.5 million Americans who need immediate, structural economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our initial demand is simple: every governor, in every state, must do what is necessary to ensure a 2-month freeze on the payment of rent, residential mortgages, and utility bills (including sanitation, power, water, gas, & internet services) to allow working families to do what is necessary to prepare for the difficult social measures required to flatten the outbreak curve. We are an alliance of political organizations, tenant organizers, mutual aid organizers, progressive activists, and climate activists from across the United States. We are working to build strike infrastructure to allow the American working class to fight back against the interests of the wealthy and weather this crisis safely.

Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck

Can’t weather a $500 unexpected expense

Americans already experiencing reduced hours or unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic

We don’t have time to wait. Regular working families are already being impacted by this outbreak, and the long-term economic effect on the average American family will be profound. Housing advocates have proven through extensive research that preventing loss of shelter is far less expensive than finding a new residence for someone experiencing housing insecurity. Our government knows this simple fact. They could, for the less than their current course of action, invest in protecting regular people from financial ruin. Instead, by choosing not to provide relief, our leaders are making immoral and financially imprudent decisions simply to protect the interests of landlords and banks.

This is all too familiar. Rent Strike 2020 represents a different approach to a political system that tells us “there’s nothing we can do.” If the massive economic impact of coronavirus has demonstrated anything, it’s that our work is the place that economic value comes from, and that some of the lowest-paid workers in our nation are the most vital to our way of life. We demand that, for once, our leaders should make us, not their donors, the priority. We aren’t taking no for an answer.