What do climate change, systemic racism, reproductive rights, and economic inequality have to do with our right to housing?
Many other issues of our time impact our housing security and access. To name just a few:
- climate gentrification pushes low-wealth families and individuals off habitable land
- heavily polluting power plants are built in the neighborhoods of predominantly Black and brown people, making their homes no longer safe or healthy
- the practice of redlining kept an entire generation of Black people from owning homes and then passing on the equity of that property to their descendants, excluding them from the most valuable wealth-building tool of the time (check out this analysis of how redlining continues to affect Miami residents)
- the #1 indicator of whether you will be evicted or not is having children, and one in four women who are denied an abortion will fall below the poverty line, a reality that is especially true for Black and Hispanic working-class women
You cannot address one issue without considering the other. In their article on the right to housing, the American Bar Association states that our housing system “reflects income inequality and environmental injustice. From federal- to local-level laws impacting air and water, along with homeowners and the homeless, regulatory processes that influence where and how people live have an immediate and profound effect on shaping public health. It is essential to address how these regulations affect communities that have suffered from the distributional disparities of environmental and economic harm concurrent with the disproportionate protection of the law."