Points of Unity

In order to effectively organize as tenants, a shared understanding of the nature of the issues we face, as well as strategies and tactics for overcoming these challenges is necessary. These Points of Unity are intended to unify members of the Honolulu Tenants Union around shared points of understanding as we engage in a collective struggle to build an organized tenant movement in Hawaiʻi.

To this end, we as members of the Honolulu Tenants Union recognize the following:

Housing is a human right

Everyone deserves guaranteed housing and shelter. No one should have to work multiple jobs or sacrifice their health and well-being just to have a roof over their heads.

Landlords’ desire to profit is fundamentally opposed to tenants’ need for housing

Tenants want a home; a safe and comfortable environment to rest and enjoy time with family and friends. Landlords own property and want profit from their investment. Fulfilling our basic needs as tenants requires taking profits away from landlords which puts us directly in conflict.

Tenants need to organize to take back control over housing

Laws do not keep us safe, state resources are inadequate, and no one is coming to save us. To ensure a world where we all can be safe, comfortable, and housed, tenants need to organize and take power!

Tenant struggle is workers’ struggle

Tenants work, and working class people are tenants. Wages are how we pay our rent but rent goes up while our wages do not. Organizing at work to get paid fairly and organizing at home to lower rent are shared struggles.

Indigenous self-determination is necessary to realize housing as a human right

The dispossession of Kānaka Maoli from their land and government by American businessmen resulted in an oppressive system with new relationships to land, property, and labor. Kānaka Maoli today face poverty, houselessness, and criminalization at the highest levels. Working-class tenants also suffer as laborers in the capitalist system. We see the confluence of these struggles and support Kānaka Maoli fighting for ʻāina, culture, and self-determination.