Vallejo Housing Justice Coalition
At the Vallejo Housing Justice Coalition (VHJC), we believe that housing is a human right.
We envision a city with housing that is affordable and reflects the needs, diversity, and culture of our community. We fight for housing justice across race, culture, age, and sexual orientation. We prioritize and amplify the voices of the communities most directly impacted by harmful housing policies that have displaced and uprooted families, especially low-income families, immigrants, and people of color.
Our core strategies include:
- Tenant organizing to build the leadership and power of renters and fight evictions and displacement through workshops on tenant rights and support in forming tenant associations.
- Advancing community-controlled housing preservation strategies, such as community land trusts (CLTs), and other alternative land and housing models that stabilize communities, prevent renters from displacement, take land and housing off of the speculative market, and keep them permanently affordable.
The Vallejo Housing Justice Coalition is a program of Urban Habitat. Since 2018, Urban Habitat has been working with resident leaders in Vallejo to establish a housing justice advocacy project. Resident leaders from Vallejo formally came together in 2019 to launch VHJC through a series of community meetings, where we identified passing tenant protections and preservation of affordable housing as key priorities in addressing housing insecurity and affordability.
In 2019, when two buildings managed by Reliant Property Management suddenly doubled their rent, VHJC organized with the tenants to fight for an emergency anti-rent gouging ordinance. When the emergency ordinance was set to expire, VHJC helped tenants return to council to ensure it was renewed. Other organizations that were instrumental in this work were Common Ground, Migrante Solano, Legal Services of Northern California, and students at UC Davis.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, VHJC successfully advocated for the passage of an emergency rent moratorium in Solano County. This ordinance helped protect families who received 100% rent increases in two large apartment complexes made up of large numbers of working-class tenants, seniors, and immigrant families. VHJC also advocated for the Solano County Board of Supervisors to double county rental assistance and to support outreach for the state emergency rental assistance program. We continue to support the development of tenant leaders and campaigns against corporate landlords who target the most vulnerable renters. Our tenant outreach and organizing work was featured in this 2022 article in the San Francisco Chronicle.
VHJC resident leaders and Urban Habitat are also working with partners to launch the Vallejo Community Land Trust (VCLT). VCLT seeks to develop community-driven, permanently- affordable housing solutions that remove land and housing from the speculative market. VCLT is the result of a partnership between Northern California Community Land Trust (NCLT), (VHJC), Urban Habitat, and Bay Area Regional Health Inequity Initiatives (BARHII).
Visit the VHJC website: https://www.vhjc.org/.