Fighting Gentrification in Working Class Communities

Communism Will Guarantee Best Possible Integrated Housing For All

Los Angeles, 2012

CALIFORNIA (USA) — Landlords, investors, and the politicians they control are conspiring to deny the human need for housing for all by gentrifying working class communities, making rents unaffordable and evicting tenants to raise rents. As the struggle against gentrification and for rent control spreads across the United States, the working class is faced with the task of raising communism as the alternative to the capitalist system’s dictatorship of finance capital.

A communist society must provide free, quality housing to all. Immediately after the working class seizes power, we will take over the mansions, condominiums, hotels and motels, office buildings and other structures of the state and society to house the working masses. Money will be abolished, and with it rent. In a society organized around human need, rather than capitalist profit, we won’t have “better” or “worse” neighborhoods, houses and apartments, but living spaces that meet people’s needs.

We will also reorganize social relations. The people who live in multi-family dwellings must have the power to supervise their buildings in accordance with communist principles. This can provide the basis for the fight against sexism where child care, cooking, maintenance and other communal/collective tasks will be taken up by the community.

Mobilizing the masses for communism will allow us to break down the racial divisions which capitalism has created. We will work hard to bring workers of all backgrounds and “races” together in the same neighborhoods.

The recent upheaval in California regarding rent control is a stark example of how the various capitalist and banking interests unite with apartment owners and landlords in the rental sector of the US economy. A bill in the California legislature, AB 1506, sought to repeal a California law which stipulates that California cities and counties may not implement rent control on apartments built before Feb. 1, 1995. For many cities, the prohibition goes back even further. In the city of Los Angeles, for instance, rent control is allowed only for buildings built before October 1978.

AB 1506 supported the rights of renters to rent control. The apartment associations, bankers and their paid politicians organized to defeat this bill, giving another victory to the capitalist class in California’s housing industry.

The lives of the working class and the masses are in serious jeopardy, as their housing-security is being threatened each and every day by the capitalist rental industry, apartment organizations and management companies, landlords, city planners, banks and finance agencies.

The workers and the poor are forced to rent, often times without the protections of programs such as Section 8 or rent control. We frequently face no-cause evictions, exorbitant rent increases, the use of credit reports to deny housing, tenants being charged utility fees for water and sewage, the theft of rental deposits by landlords and other onerous acts by landlords and property management companies.

All of this hits black, latino/a and immigrant communities much harder because of the racism hard-wired into capitalism.

Communities created by capitalist racism and segregation have developed neighborhood structures for survival. As finance capital sees an opportunity to make money by gentrifying these communities, those survival structures are threatened. Some activists fighting gentrification see the fight as defending black and other ethnic minority communities against white professionals moving in. Communists in these movements must reject nationalism and put the blame on the finance capitalists and the politicians who serve their interests. Fighting for reforms like rent control won’t solve the problem. Only fighting for communism can defeat racism and guarantee the best possible integrated housing and healthy communities for all.

Capitalist rent and housing relations within society must end. No landlords, no money, no rent, quality housing for all! Communists and those fighting for the end of capitalist rule will be called upon to spread the idea of communism, the end of rent, the right for all to possess housing to live, and that no person has the right to profit off of the housing needs of any other person.

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