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Equitable Development Toolkit
Equitable Development Toolkit
Rent Controls
What Is It?
Why Use It?
How To Use It
Keys To Success
Tool in Action

Broad-based Coalition Building.   As case studies demonstrate, successful efforts to pass or defend rent control require broad, multi-racial coalitions.  In some instances, untraditional allies have been enlisted to lend critical support.  Allies have included public officials, small homeowners, labor unions, student groups, mental health organizations, elderly groups, women's organizations, the faith-based community, and national organizations, and others.

Organized and Mobilized Communities.   Winning rent control will take dedicated leaders with a commitment to organize.  The New Jersey Tenants Organization developed several key organizing principles, that have succeeded in more than municipalities.  (See below.)

Sustained Community Engagement.   Rent control campaigns are a lengthy process, often followed by drawn-out court challenges.  And, the struggle does not end with securing the law; rent control face repeated attacks years later with measures or amendments introduced to weaken its effectiveness.  Sustained community engagement is essential. Some cities have established permanent tenant or housing organizations to facilitate ongoing participation.

Effective Organizing is Key: Each of the statewide groups fighting for rent control were led by scores of individuals who entered the housing movement with a radical vision and extensive organizing experience gained from the political struggles of previous decades. And most important, these leaders understood that however noble a cause, it is doomed without solid, mass-based, grassroots organizing. 
Mitch Kahn, Director of Organizing, NJTO

Comprehensive Communications Strategy.   Strategic use of the media,  including radio, television, newspapers, newsletters, and the Internet,  is essential to educating the public about the issues, building public will in support of renter stabilization and countering anti-rent control propaganda.

Timing.   Assessing economic and political opportunities is critical.  Good timing is absolutely necessary to a successful campaign to pass or defend rent control.

New Jersey Tenant Organization Organizing Principles

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