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New GBIO Housing Justice Campaign Ratified!

On November 10th, 20 TI members Zoomed into a GBIO Delegates’ Assembly to deliberate and vote on a Housing Justice Campaign proposal, which will be the major focus of GBIO efforts for the next 12-18 months.

This comprehensive, multi-pronged, statewide Housing Justice campaign will address challenges to safe and dignified public housing, affordable rental and homeownership, and access to supportive housing for citizens returning from incarceration.

In his opening prayer, Imam Talib Mahdee, of Masjid al Quran, defined Housing Justice as “the ability for all people to have safe, sanitary, and decent places to live in community, with attention to improving housing access and quality for groups that have been unfairly denied it and supporting housing models that help to close racial and class disparities.” Citing Dr. Martin  Luther King, Jr., he continued, “We are tired of living in rat infested slums……Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to open doors of opportunity to all God’s children.”

The Four Prongs of GBIO’s Housing Justice Campaign

GBIO diagram illustrating the 4 prongs

In GBIO style, stories from people with lived experience of housing injustice were heard.

Eleanor Brown, from Grant AME Church, spoke:  “Housing is key to everyone’s stability because if you are not secure in your housing, it is hard to work or to even find work, to eat, to take care of your hygiene and to rest, all of these issues and so much more become secondary in your day-to-day survival without housing. I fight because I know that we have the ability to make change when we rally and put out the call for action—it’s the numbers! It is time for us to pick up the mantle and continue to move forward”

The proposal for the public housing justice prong was developed by a small GBIO housing team of tenant and ally leaders from Brookline congregations, led by TI member Nick Morse. During the Assembly  Massiel, a tenant leader and resident of Brookline Public Housing, shared with delegates how unsafe the conditions of the apartment she moved into eight years ago truly were.

As a result of these conditions, her mother, visiting from the Dominican Republic, fell down unlit stairs and now has to use a walker. TI member Dru Greenwood told why she is committed to getting game-changing funds for rundown public housing across the state.

After each member congregation caucused, a roll call of 43 institutions unanimously committed to the Housing Justice Campaign. We’re off!

If you have questions, or are interested in more information, contact TI-GBIO liaisons Anne Licciardello or Laura Guggenheimer.

About Temple Israel and GBIO

Temple Israel has been actively engaged in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization (GBIO), a multifaith coalition of 62 institutions fighting for social and racial justice, since the late 1990s. This year, we’ve continued our active support of GBIO’s current platform issues: affordable housing, mental health/substance use & recovery, and reentry for citizens returning from incarceration. Temple Israel has a “Core Team” of 15 members which is an action group of Tikkun Central. Temple Israel is a dues-paying member institution, so all TI members are GBIO members. There are many opportunities to be involved in this work in big and small ways!

Want to demystify the intricacies of housing issues? Dive into Six Affordable Housing Trainings coordinated by TI’s Ted Greenwood and led by TBZ member Jonathan Klein,  or watch the entire Delegates Assembly.