Renters Are in Revolt. This Tenant Union Plans to Get Them Organized
Renters comprise about one-third of the U.S. population, but can make up half or two-thirds of the population in some cities. As more and more corporate behemoths buy up properties from mom-and-pop landlords, much of that rent money is just going directly into corporate coffers: 45% of the total rental units recorded in the 2018 Rental Housing Finance Survey (the most recent one for which there is data) were owned by for-profit companies, according to Pew.
Many of these renters are starting to form tenant unions, grassroots organizations of renters banding together to put pressure on landlords and local governments to protect the rights of tenants. Tenant movements have already led to reforms in Los Angeles, New York, and Miami, among many other expensive, renter-heavy cities. But one of the most effective tenant unions in the country is KC Tenants, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Renter Revolt is a TIME production in partnership with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project and Pulitzer Center. Read the full story in TIME.
Charlotte Alter is a national correspondent at TIME Magazine.
Co-published with TIME.