Sisters in Diaspora Collective
We are a group of alums and community members fighting for each other and greater justice.
The Sisters in Diaspora Collective was founded by a group of Havenly alums in February of 2021, with the support of Havenly staff. The Collective was created as a space where women could continue supporting one another and build community beyond graduation. More specifically, members decided to prioritize fighting for just and dignified living conditions for our communities.
Today, the group has grown to include friends, neighbors, and fellow community members, remaining a space that is led by and centers immigrant and refugee women.
What Do We Do?For the past year, our collective has been dedicated to helping build a movement for housing justice in Greater New Haven.
The core issue that unifies this group is lack of access to safe, dignified, and affordable housing. Nearly every member of the Sisters in Diaspora Collective experiences housing insecurity. For each of their families, paying rent takes up the vast majority of their household income. Many live in overcrowded homes that don’t have enough space for their children, and suffer abuses from landlords who leave their buildings in disrepair and yet continue to raise the rent every month.
This day-to-day challenge to keep a roof over our heads is by no means limited to the members of our Collective, or to people in the immigrant and refugee community. It is a challenge that faces nearly all working class people in U.S. cities, and especially people of marginalized backgrounds. In New Haven, 54% of residents do not have access to affordable housing. Upwards of 400 people live on the street, with no stable housing at all. In West Haven, where many of our members reside, the average wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment is $27.06 – this is more than twice minimum wage. In New Haven, the average renter is $17,000 short of affording a 2-bedroom apartment. In West Haven, the average renter is $13,000 short.
We believe that housing is a human right. No one should have to live on the street, and no one should have to work down to the bone just to be able to keep a roof over their, living inconstant fear of falling behind on rent and getting evicted. We are working towards a world in which every single person and family has access to a safe, dignified, and comfortable home. That home should cost them no more than 30% of their income.
In New Haven
of residents do not have access to affordable housing
Average resident's shortage in affording a 2-bedroom
people live on the street
Our Current Campaign: American Rescue Plan Funding Should Prioritize Housing
Specific asks in New Haven
We are urging the Board of Alders of New Haven to dedicate $62.5 million out of the total budget of $115 from the American Rescue Plan.
We propose that $50.5 million be used to buy buildings in New Haven and convert them to affordable housing, and $12 million to provide monthly subsidies to 1000 families on the waiting lists for Section 8 and Public Housing for two years. We have submitted our proposal to the Board of Alders and are organizing for it to be heard and seriously considered.
Specific asks in West Haven
We urge the City Council of West Haven to dedicate at least half of their total ARP funding to provide rent relief for periods of 6 months to families that are rent burdened.
In the News
Coalition Of Immigrant Women Presses City For Housing Help Through Pandemic-Relief Aid
“A basic, fundamental need”: residents want increased investment in housing
Ways to Help
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM
Stay up to date, day-to-day, with the Collective and its campaign towards housing justice: @havenlycollective
GET IN TOUCH
If you or someone you know would like to participate actively in the Collective, contact email@example.com.