The Wilmington DSA Housing Working Group has been working since late 2021 to prepare for a housing campaign to address what is arguably the largest single issue affecting working class Wilmingtonians. The group has consulted with a DSA-affiliated group in Winston-Salem that shared their organizational history and some of their successes and failures over the years, including their recent in in saving the Crystal Towers public housing facility from demolition. The group has also partnered with local organizers who have a passion for housing-related issues and want to do better than the existing programs and structures that have left people living in mold-ridden and overprices units.
After spending several months gaining a better understanding of the issues facing working class people and specifically characterizing the issues as they manifest in Wilmington, the group endeavored on its first canvass during the Azalea Festival. This effort involved several aspects, one was speaking with local shops, many of whom were more than willing to display our flyers and to share interest in this issue. Another target for this canvass was festival goers and the general public, who were asked about their current housing situation and what aspects they would change. By the end of the afternoon of canvassing, there were already eight people signed up for the April 28 meeting. Since that time, eight more people have expressed interest.
The Housing Working Group is encouraging all DSA members to attend the kickoff meeting because this is the point where we meet new organizers and can draw people with a passion into the campaign. At the present moment, the group is focused on a tenant union organizing strategy because this will allow renters to self-organize and to directly negotiate rents with the landlords. Although electoral challenges, at a state level, to passing rent control and other tenant-focused legislation exist, the group intends to build towards creating established policies to make housing a right for all. If you’re interesting in building tenant unions across the city, it is highly encouraged for you to attend this meeting! Meeting details can be found on the Events page.