Michigan Renters Make History: The Fight for Affordable Housing Gains Traction, Next Steps

Sep 18, 2023

Back in February, about 20 renters and housing advocates gathered in the basement of the Fledge in Lansing. We were united by solidarity and urgent concern over the state of our housing.

We agreed to an ambitious idea: To invite anybody and everybody who agrees that The Rent Is Too Damn High to demonstrate at the capitol on September 5. We would aim for hundreds in attendance.

Well, look at what happened on September 5…

Over 300 renters from Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit and elsewhere turned out to the Capitol despite the ninety degree heat! This is the largest statewide demonstration of renters in Michigan in recent memory. It was an inspiring show of anger and determination to win the renters’ rights we deserve.

The story was extensively covered by the Michigan capitol press corps, including the Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Michigan Advance, Bridge Magazine, and MLive. We also appeared on TV at WMMT, WILX, and WLNS.

I highly recommend you watch and read these stories (at least the ones without paywalls). They include many powerful quotes and testimonies from renters and unhoused people who were there. 

We also heard from hundreds more who wanted to make it but couldn’t get off work or risk the heat exposure. If that’s you, please know that you are still needed, welcomed and valued in this movement! 

Now is a great time to get involved with the next steps of this fight. Here’s what comes next:

Rent Is Too Damn High – Lansing general meeting: Wednesday September 13, 6:00-7:30pm at the Fledge, and every other Wednesday after that. (Facebook event)

Pack the Housing Committee Hearings: We want to show up strong at the Senate and House housing committee hearings this fall. A small number of people can make a big difference — even a dozen people in attendance each week will get their attention. At each hearing we’ll have our own speak-out if we aren’t asked to testify, each featuring a different organizational member or members of our coalition.

Lift the Ban on Rent Control advocacy training hosted by We The People: This will be Thursday September 14, 6:00-7:30pm via Zoom, in preparation for an upcoming lobby day.

Please sign up for these next steps via this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeL5ej9HWp_8ByV1rBm_whzL-ziw1qenHGS77_UbmvYnZY6nw/viewform?usp=sf_link 

It’s too damn hot and the rent is too damn high! We’ve got the momentum, let’s keep it up!

In solidarity,