Housing Justice is Climate Justice

Our foundational values:

  • Housing justice is climate justice!
  • Everyone deserves safe, healthy, affordable housing, without fear of displacement.
  • Everyone deserves a city that is a climate-safe place to live, grow, learn, eat, play, love, and build resilient communities.
  • Health (physical and mental), safety, economic stability, and community resilience are dependent on stable housing and infrastructure that protects from climate catastrophes. This is dependent on whether communities have control over the development in their own neighborhoods.

Housing justice and climate justice are inextricably linked. The housing crisis and the climate crisis are both escalating, and impacting low income and BIPOC communities the hardest. Climate change threatens the affordability of homes with rising costs for energy, potentially costly upgrades of our heating technology, increasing heat waves and extreme weather, and poor air quality.

Everyone deserves to live in a safe, healthy home that stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And environmental stability is critical to maintaining affordable, stable rent prices. The health and environmental quality of an equitable community depend on its stability and its members’ shared control and belonging. 

Affordability, rent stability, and reducing energy burden are crucial for keeping people in their homes and thus are key aspects of climate justice and community resilience

Home retrofits improve indoor air quality, reduce asthma, and reduce disproportionate energy burden by lowering heating and cooling bills – but if landlords pass the retrofitting costs on to tenants, tenants are forced out. Efficiency is critical for environmental justice, health, and stabilizing energy costs, and it needs to be linked with anti-displacement measures to keep people in their communities

Our campaign seeks:

  1. To make climate-safe information and resources accessible to all communities but especially to those marginalized by current energy and housing systems — these communities include low-income households (both renters and owners), communities of color, and communities where English is not the first language. We also hope to help the city monitor and educate about programs like Mass Save, in order to reduce barriers to access and provide feedback on their effectiveness.
  2. To promote systemic change that keeps residents in their homes, lowers utility bills, and reduces harmful indoor and outdoor toxins. We believe the city is truly capable of intersectional policy that protects our community’s health while decreasing our city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Through this campaign, BCAN is advocating for housing retrofits to improve energy efficiency combined with anti-displacement and affordability across Boston, particularly in low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods and Environmental Justice communities. We are partnering with other Boston-based community advocacy / housing justice organizations and neighborhood groups to reach these goals. In coalition, we aim to ensure that city, state, and federal money for home energy improvements are equitably distributed to all Boston residents. 

Neighborhoods where residents are stable and secure are more likely to: 

  • Fight to secure housing equity and environmental health in policy; 
  • Build community resilience for stronger, lasting change;
  • Keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer by taking advantage of affordable weatherization upgrade incentives;
  • Seek solar- or wind-powered alternatives to harmful fossil fuel consumption;
  • Plant and care for more trees, which improve air quality, provide shade and necessary cooling, as well as mental health benefits.

As necessary measures in the fight for housing justice, BCAN supports our partners…

City Life / Vida Urbana demands Rent Stabilization in Boston! 

The Coalition for a Truly Affordable Boston demands ⅓ of new housing be affordable!