Support the Tenants Union!

Donate Now Through Network for Good Washington State tenants have won important legal protections, but these rights don't go far enough. Members help build the movement to protect and expand tenants rights and make the promise of safe, healthy, affordable housing a reality.

About Us

Tenant Union Members Speak

“The TU is a powerful political voice for renters.”
City Councilmember Nick Licata

“I just think what you’re doing is so valuable. I don’t know what I would have done [if the illegal eviction hadn’t been stopped]. It’s not like people can just walk away from needing shelter. I’ve had so many lucky things happen…and the first lucky thing was that I went to the Tenants Union for help.”
– Mary Czerniski, Tenants Union Member

“We were guppies, but with the Tenants Union we became whales.”
– Peggy Pearson, Tenants Union Member

“We want to make statewide the protections that renters inside the City of Seattle have already won. Simple protections like just cause eviction. The only way to power is through members. It’s fun to be at the Tenants Union every [week]. It’s a happening place with fun volunteer activities.”
– Jim True, Tenants Union Member

“Without the Tenants Union I would be completely at sea. It would be so easy for Section 8 tenants to get tossed out on our ears without even knowing our rights. If it weren’t for the Tenants Union, I wouldn’t have even gone on the Section 8 program because it was too scary. Thank you for doing what you’re doing, and thank you for doing it for so many years. I appreciate the TU.”
– Joan Kurtz, Tenants Union Member

“As a fixed income Section 8 tenant who faced landlord retaliation this year and repeated illegal attempts to terminate my tenancy, my one constant lifeline and support through this ordeal was the Tenants Union. The TU’s repeated and personal outreach toward me and my co-tenants was invaluable in terms of maintaining moral [support], keeping our heads clear, reviewing our options at all points, and educating ourselves about the rights we possess and the best ways to assert them. My gratitude to the TU is beyond measure and I will remain a proud member as long as I draw breath. We in Washington have a tremendous resource in the TU.”
– Lee Lumsden, Tenants Union Member

Why Join the Tenants Union permalink

Join the Tenants Union if:

  • You believe that every renter deserves safe, affordable housing free from discrimination, retaliation and eviction threats. Members are people who share the Tenants Union’s values and vision for housing justice and are willing to make an annual donation to support the work.
  • You got help through the Tenants Union’s Education Program or website. The TU is a small but extraordinarily powerful organization that provides Education Program services to over 1,400 Washington State renters a year. We’re able to offer these services for free across the state because of the financial support of tenants like you.

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How to Join or Donate to the TU permalink

You can become a member, renew your membership, or make a donation to the Tenants Union in three ways:

1) Online through the Network for Good website.

2) Over the Phone by calling us at (206) 722-6848 × 102.

3) By Mail by filling out the Membership Donation Form, or writing your Name, Address, Phone, Email and sending with your Membership Dues to:

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Tenant Union Members Speak permalink

“The TU is a powerful political voice for renters.”
City Councilmember Nick Licata

“I just think what you’re doing is so valuable. I don’t know what I would have done [if the illegal eviction hadn’t been stopped]. It’s not like people can just walk away from needing shelter. I’ve had so many lucky things happen…and the first lucky thing was that I went to the Tenants Union for help.”
– Mary Czerniski, Tenants Union Member

Read more on "Tenant Union Members Speak" »

TU Victories permalink

The TU has won significant victories for tenants’ rights in the last 35 years. Below is a partial list of victories TU tenant leaders and members have won. See TU History for a more comprehensive list of Tenants Union work through the last 35 years.

Legislative Advocacy

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What is Housing Justice? permalink

It’s about Fair Treatment
  • Over one third of Washington State residents are renters. Seattle is home to over 500,000 tenants.
  • There are no mechanisms for the enforcement of landlord-tenant laws, and landlords are not licensed or regulated in any way. Landlord-tenant laws in Washington State are considered “self-help.”
  • Tenants who assert their rights often face retaliation in the form of eviction. Landlord-tenant laws are outdated, difficult to understand, and weighted towards landlords.

Read more on "What is Housing Justice?" »

Membership Dues permalink

The TU serves mostly low income renters, and we want membership to be affordable to everyone. Membership dues at the Tenants Union are on a sliding scale based on income, but we encourage you to give the amount that is meaningful to you and to give generously to keep the TU going strong!

The general guideline for membership dues is $1 for every $1,000 of annual household income. For example, if your household makes $20,000 a year, the annual membership dues would be $20.

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We Need your Talents! Volunteer with the Tenants Union! permalink

As a grassroots membership-based organization, the Tenants Union is made stronger by volunteers and active members who contribute time and skills to build power for housing justice.

Ways to Get Involved as a Volunteer

In the Office

We are looking for regular office volunteers, as well as people who can come into the office to help with one-time events.

  • Help out at mailing parties to send off our quarterly Newsletters and other mailings
  • Help us stock our tenant rights materials
  • Help us with periodic office projects, such as data-entry and filing (it’s important for us to stay organized so we can organize for housing justice!)

In the Streets

  • Help with doorknocking in our campaigns
  • Come to mobilizations to show your support for tenant rights
  • Tell your story to advocate for better laws to protect tenants and to fund tenant services and housing

Education Volunteers 2012
Hotline Volunteers, 2012. We need a new picture, come join us!

To volunteer, contact the Membership & Development Coordinator at (206) 722-6848 Ext. 102 or [email protected] and let us know you’d like to volunteer.
You’ll have a conversation with the Membership & Development Coordinator or another staff member about your interests & talents, and we’ll connect you with meaningful volunteering at the TU.

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