The Nation: "A New Housing Rights Movement Has the Real Estate Industry Running Scared"

In cities across the country, tenants are demanding robust regulations to keep rents affordable and stop unjust evictions.

"Araceli Barrera is a housekeeper at a hotel in Denver. Last year, the apartment where she lives with her husband and two children was overrun with an insect infestation. She says she had to trash most of her belongings and move out. When her landlord took her to housing court to force her to fulfill the final months of her lease agreement, she turned to a local renters coalition called Colorado Homes for All. The group provided her with a pro bono lawyer who helped defend her in the case.

The experience politicized her. Now Barrera is helping Homes for All push a bill in the state legislature that would allow Colorado tenants to withhold rent from their landlords if their housing is in disrepair.

'I lost everything, my belongings, my home, and the life of my family was uprooted,' she says in Spanish. 'That makes me want to fight harder. I want to go to the capitol and tell my story and be heard.'"


Click here to read more of Jimmy Tobias's article.

Kathleen Ronayne, AP Photo 

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