We are using our voice to stand in solidarity with our community, acknowledging long standing racial disparities, COVID-19’s inequitable and devastating impacts, and the need for communities to come together, build trust and relationships, and to make change.
The racist instances of violence and injustice that are happening across the country against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color occur in all of our communities, whether they are visible and make the news or not. We must acknowledge these events, and recognize the deep trauma that they create in dreams deferred, opportunities withheld, and futures cut short. All of our communities are lesser for these losses.
A direct line can be drawn between housing injustice and the fight for greater equity that we are seeing today. America has a history of racist housing policies that manifest in over policing of black and brown neighborhoods, intentional place-based disinvestment, and deep disparities in housing and homelessness. In order to create change, we must first acknowledge these systems that have oppressed and devalued our communities of color. Then, we must act to change them.
According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, across America “African Americans represent thirteen percent of the general population but are forty percent of people experiencing homelessness and more than fifty percent of homeless families with children. Black families are twenty-six percent of all extremely low-income renters…For most of the 20th century, people of color were denied the federal resources created to help white families become homeowners and build wealth. As a result, the wealth of the median-income white family is twelve times larger than the wealth of the median-income Black family.”
It is clear that the solutions to housing equity run much deeper than building homes and providing shelter. Examining the links between housing justice and racial justice is essential to ensuring that everyone in our community has the opportunity to thrive.
Hudson River Housing’s daily work is to create safe, quality affordable places to live. We work hard to live up to our mission of providing housing with dignity and supporting individuals and communities to grow and thrive. Our reach and purpose allow us to lift up the voices of those who otherwise might not have access to a safe and secure place to call home, and who call out for change. This work is one step on the path towards justice and equality.
Our values of Compassion, Empathy, Transparency, and Inclusivity are the underpinning of our work and inform all our decisions.
Our Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion initiative is a deep internal examination of the way in which we conduct our work and ourselves.
We will not look away from the racial injustices and disparities in our community.
We will listen and entrust leadership in our community members.
We will have the difficult internal and external conversations that lead to systemic change.
We will fight for policies that lead us toward greater equity and safeguard a future where opportunity is available to all.
We will stand in witness to injustices past and present, and in solidarity with the fight that lays before us.