Demanding the Right to the City and the Right to Housing (R2C/R2H): Best Practices for Supporting Community Organizing

You are here

Organization: 
Parkdale Community Legal Services
Author: 
Martine August & Cole Webber
AttachmentSize
PDF icon pcls-august_webber-report.pdf6.73 MB

This research report explores how progressive social agencies and non-profits (including legal clinics) can support community organizing pursuing the aims of the Right to the City (R2C) and Right to Housing (R2H) agendas. R2C/R2H theories and movements seek transformative social change to achieve urban social justice, emphasizing that cities and housing should be built for people, and not for profit.

In Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton, community organizers have recently adopted high-profile radical activities to fight displacement. While these organizers do not always use the language of R2C/R2H, they embody the aims of these agendas by fighting for housing rights and justice. 

Meanwhile, many progressive social organizations support R2C/R2H principles, but may not support (and may even oppose) the more radical actions undertaken by community organizers. This report draws on an evaluation of community organizing to argue that agencies dedicated to R2C/R2H agendas should support community organizing.

The outline of the report is as follows:

(1) Part 1 discusses varied interpretations of R2C/R2H goals and agendas;

(2) Part 2 ‘evaluates’ community organizing by learning from organizers in Toronto’s Parkdale, Ottawa’s Herongate, and Hamilton’s Stoney Creek neighborhoods;

(3) Part 3 examines the relationship between agencies and organizers, and gives recommendations for how to support organizing. 

Download the report

  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.............................................................................................................VI
  • INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................1
  • THE RIGHT TO THE CITY AND THE RIGHT TO HOUSING (R2C/R2H) ..................................3
  • The Right to the City..................................................................................................................3
    • Intellectual Foundations of the Right to the City .................................................................................... 3
    • Social Movements and the Right to the City ........................................................................................... 3
    • Non-Profits and the Right to the City ........................................................................................................ 4
  • The Right to Housing.................................................................................................................4
    • The Radical Right to Housing..................................................................................................................... 5
  • R2C/R2H: Uniting movements for progressive social change? ...............................................5
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZING FOR R2C/R2H..............................................................................6
  • Hamilton: The Hamilton Tenant’s Solidarity Network (HTSN) .................................................7
  • Parkdale, Toronto: Parkdale Organize (PO).............................................................................8
  • Herongate, Ottawa: Herongate Tenants Coalition (HTC).......................................................10
  • Evaluating Community Organizing: Goals, Successes, and Limitations ................................11
  • Successes: Achievements of Community Organizing ............................................................12
    • 1. Winning Demands .................................................................................................................................12
    • 2. Being organized.....................................................................................................................................13
    • 3. Sense of Community, Friendships, and Supportive Networks ......................................................13
    • 4. Empowerment........................................................................................................................................14
    • 5. Support from ‘outside groups’ ............................................................................................................15
  • Limitations – Challenges facing Community Organizing........................................................16
    • 2. Fear of Retribution .................................................................................................................................16
    • 3. Lack of Support from Potential Allies .................................................................................................17
  • Best Practices for Community Organizing..............................................................................19
    • 1. Direct Engagement................................................................................................................................19
    • 2. District-Based Scale...............................................................................................................................19
    • 3. Struggles for Daily Life..........................................................................................................................20
    • 4. Independent Organizing......................................................................................................................20
  • THE ROLE OF NON-PROFITS AND SOCIAL AGENCIES:..........................................................22
  • The Value of Supporting Community Organizing ..................................................................23
  • Agency Challenges in Supporting Community Organizing ...................................................24
    • 1. Fear of Upsetting Funders....................................................................................................................24
    • 2. Agency Obligations to Follow Rules and Regulations ....................................................................25
    • 3. Fear that Community Organizing will Fail .........................................................................................25
  • Different Theories of Change...................................................................................................................26
  • Ways Forward: Recommendations for Agencies to Support Organizing..............................27
    • 1. Respecting Direct Engagement Approaches ...................................................................................27
    • 3. Independent Organizing......................................................................................................................28
    • 4. Direct Material Support for Community Organizing.......................................................................29
  • BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................................................................................................................30
Year: 
2020
Format: 
Research report
Categories: 
Community ownership
Housing & Real Estate
Source: 
Org
Theme: 

If a link on this page is broken, please notify us at communications at ccednet-rcdec.ca