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Justice in Southeast Seattle

In Southeast Seattle, where more than two-thirds of the residents are people of color, tenants are facing the city’s most severe housing issues:

  • substandard and unhealthy conditions
  • discrimination
  • threats of eviction or calling immigration for sticking up for one’s rights
  • increasing development pressures that are pushing rents up and pushing long-time residents out.

The Justice in South Seattle Project is a leadership development, education and organizing effort focused on remedying injustices in housing that are rooted in racism, xenophobia and classism. JSSP emerged from extensive reflection by board and staff, with guidance from members and allies, on the links between racial justice and housing justice. Through this reflection, with the help of thoughtful feedback from leaders of other community organizations, the TU has focused our organizing resources to address the ways in which housing policies and practices expand racial inequality in our communities.

South Seattle and the surrounding small cities are poor, ethnically diverse, and home to the worst housing conditions in the region. More than two-thirds of the residents are people of color, compared to a Seattle city average of 16%.

People of color and immigrants in Seattle are suffering a disparate burden of our region’s housing crisis. This project fuses a racial justice approach to solving housing problems with leadership development, education and advocacy to bring substantial changes to housing conditions. The activities of the project include:

  • door-to-door outreach
  • multilingual community tenants’ rights workshops
  • leadership development training
  • organizing committees working together to improve housing conditions and fight gentrification on a building-by-building basis
  • legislative and policy campaigns to create equitable housing laws and regulations.