Who We Are

The Tenant and Homeowner Association (THA) is a DARE campaign committee led by low-income tenants and homeowners living in communities of color, who are facing eviction, foreclosure, and unsafe housing conditions. THA members work with DARE staff to prevent individual foreclosures and evictions, remediate unsafe, unhealthy conditions, halt gentrification, displacement, and divestment in communities of color.

Throughout the process of working with renter and homeowner households, the THA seeks to ensure low-moderate income families in the state’s communities of color know their rights, understand the legal and other systems, and can advocate for themselves. Partnering with non-profit attorneys, the THA seeks to create equal access to justice for low-income tenants facing substandard conditions in their homes or eviction, as well as low-moderate income homeowners facing predatory lending and servicing practices and foreclosure.

In order to address the root causes of eviction, foreclosure, and housing insecurity in low-income communities of color and create lasting, systemic change, the THA collectively designs and advocates for policies at the municipal and state level.

How to Get Involved

Contact Terri Wright, Tenant and Homeowner Association (THA) Community Organizer: twright@daretowin.org (401) 351-6960

Follow us on Facebook @renterpowerpvd or on Twitter @renterpowerpvd

The Association meets every Tuesday from 6-8 pm at DARE’s office: 340 Lockwood Street, Providence RI 02907. Behind the Burger King on Broad Street, across from Central High School.

Past Victories

Just Cause Eviction Protections

After more than five years of organizing, lobbying, and using creative direct actions, the Tenant and Homeowner Association (THA) successfully passed the Just Cause eviction law in the summer of 2014. This law mandates that banks or other mortgage lenders that foreclose on a home follow the RI Landlord-Tenant Act. This means that, when a bank takes over a house through foreclosure, that bank must: accept current tenants’ rent (and cannot raise the rent), cannot evict tenants without a just cause (such as not paying rent or illegal activity), and must maintain safe and healthy conditions in the building.

RI General Laws

2018 City Council Candidate Forum on Housing Policy

City Council Candidate Forum on Housing Policy (Summer 2018)

The THA organized a city council candidate forum one month before primary elections, including 10 candidates, focused on housing issues, such as rent stabilization, criminalization of the homeless, tax break agreements with developers, and ensuring local jobs and genuinely affordable housing. Read the article on Uprise RI

2018 America Too: The Providence Housing Crisis at Trinity Repertory Theater

America Too: The Providence Housing Crisis at Trinity Repertory Theater (Fall 2018)

The THA organized America Too: The Providence Housing Crisis, the story of displacement, eviction, and housing insecurity told by 10 THA members with local playwrights for a crowd of over 100 people at the state’s largest theater, Trinity Repertory Company.

Current Campaigns

Fighting for an Eviction & Foreclosure Moratorium during the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) federal eviction protection for tenants facing eviction for non-payment of rent, extended through March 31, 2021. Learn more about the protections here.

The THA is part of a coalition advocating the passage of a bill that would create a foreclosure and eviction moratorium during any state of emergency in Rhode Island! Find the proposed legislation here.

Read Uprise RI’s coverage of the national day of action

Rent Stabilization

As THA members experienced unsafe housing conditions, landlord neglect and abuse, as well as rising rents in Providence, and watched former homeowning families, forced into renting by the foreclosure crisis, struggle in the city’s unregulated private rental market, they decided it was time to demand rent stabilization and regulation of landlord-tenants relations in the private rental market. Working with community lawyers, and researching best practices and policies from around the country, the THA drafted a rent stabilization policy. The campaign to pass an ordinance at Providence city council is launching soon!

Source of Income Discrimination

A city ordinance to making it illegal discrimination for landlords to deny tenants based on their “source of income,” such as a housing voucher (Section 8), Social Security, and other forms of legal, non-wage income was recently passed by the Providence City Council.

A bill has been introduced to the RI General Assembly for the past five years to make this type of housing discrimination illegal across the state. See the legislation here.

Sealing Tenant Court Records

The THA works with partners to advocate for proposed legislation that would seal the court record of evictions, except in the case of certain outcomes, to prevent discrimination against tenants with a public record of having gone to court with their landlord. Read the proposed legislation. Fighting Gentrification & Displacement & Investing in Permanent, Community-Controlled, Land & Housing Link to stories of anti-displacement actions: https://upriseri.com/2020-09-11-dare/

Partners

The RI Center for Justice

The Rhode Island Center for Justice is a non-profit public interest law center that partners with community groups to strengthen existing advocacy and service provision with legal representation and strategy. Our legal practice areas⁠—including housing, immigration, workers’ rights, criminal justice, education, and utility shutoffs⁠—reflect the most pressing needs of low-income people in our state.

Rhode Island Legal Services provides high quality legal assistance and representation to low-income individuals and eligible client groups for the purpose of improving their economic condition and overall wellbeing by protecting and enforcing legal rights, stabilizing the family unit and communities where clients live, promoting self reliance, ending domestic violence, preventing homelessness, affording dignity to all people, and reaching out to groups with added burdens on their ability to access the civil justice system.