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

TU Victories

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
Affordable Housing Preservation
Tenant Ownership
  • Organized the first tenant-controlled low-income rental housing in the Northwest, the Benson East Duplexes in Kent
Civil Rights & Fair Housing
  • Organized with tenants at Avalon Ridge to bring a precedent-setting civil rights lawsuit to protect single mothers of color on Section 8 vouchers from eviction
Federal Policy Reform
  • Mobilized to win federal legislation protecting tenants’ right to organize in subsidized housing and to protect funding for housing programs
  • Leaders from the Downtowner Tenants Association set national precedent for tenants in buildings undergoing subsidy loss
Accountability for Local Policymakers
  • Reform of an illegal and unfair grievance hearing process for Section 8 voucher tenants at Seattle Housing Authority in STOP’s SHA Grievance Hearing Campaign
Tenant Education
  • The Tenants Union provides resources, education and advocacy to thousands of tenants every year to know and use our rights through through the Education Program

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.

Read more on "Why Join the Tenants Union" »

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:

Read more on "How to Join or Donate to the TU" »

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

Read more on "TU Victories" »

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.

Read more on "Membership Dues" »

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.

Read more on "We Need your Talents! Volunteer with the Tenants Union!" »