At WSCO, We believe that everyone deserves to live in safe, dignified, and affordable homes without fear of displacement.
We are grounded in the histories of displacement that have affected the West Side, from the forced removal of the Dakota people in 1851, to the destruction of the immigrant community on the Riverside Flats in the early 1960’s, to today’s displacement of low-income people of color due to gentrification.
We organize with renters on the West Side of Saint Paul to address repair issues, exploitation, evictions, and rent hikes, because housing is a right, not a commodity.
On June 25, WSCO filed a lawsuit to protect WSCO’s right to organize, inform, and mobilize renters to better their living conditions and be free from housing discrimination. You can read more on our blog.
We also work with partner organizations and city staff to advance policies and legislation that develop true affordability and housing stability for all of St. Paul residents. We are supporting the City's Safe Housing Tenant Protections initiative.
We envision and work towards a West Side where everyone lives in dignity and security.
Want to organize your building, or tenants with the same landlord as you? Do you want to host a Know-Your-Rights training for your community? Maybe you’re not a renter but committed to working in solidarity for an affordable and dignified West Side?
- Join our Facebook group; West Side Housing Justice to find out about upcoming events
- Join the Voices Housing Circle - Zoom Virtual Meetings TBA in May
- Contact Charlotte [email protected] or 612-361-1264
WSCO is not a direct service provider. Rather we organize with our neighbors to build power and create systemic change in our community. The Twin Cities is in the midst of a serious affordable housing crisis, and more than ever residents affected by rising rents and substandard living conditions need to come together to advocate for substantive change. If you feel fed up and ready to take action, you can organize your building and neighbors to demand better living conditions, whether that is requesting repairs from a landlord, beating back a rent hike, forming an tenant’s union, or working to pass rent stabilization and other affordable housing measures.
Together we are powerful! Join us!
Here are some tenant organizing tips and strategies from solidarity organizations:
- DSA-NYC Tenant Organizing Manual
- Chicago ATU tenant organizing How-To zine
- HOME Line “Form a Tenant Association”
- MN Tenant-Landlord law resources
- Tenants Together
Housing and Tenant Resources:
WSCO supports tenant organizing, but does not offer assistance in finding housing or provide direct social services. However, we do our best to help connect you to available resources:
HOMEline is a free legal-aid hotline for tenants across Minnesota: 612-728-5767 or 612-255-8870 por español
SMRLS (Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services) is a legal aid organization that can help low-income individuals on tenant and other issues : 1-888-575-2954
Neighborhood House: Family Centers can offer support and assistance if you are facing a housing crisis; call their intake number to set up an appointment: 651-793-7340
Housing Link provides information and resources to find affordable and subsidized housing
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency www.mnhousing.org
Minnesota Housing provides a list of resources and contact information to help people who need rental assistance, affordable rental housing, or shelter.
Housing Benefits 101 mn.hb101.org
Housing Benefits 101 is a website that includes information on how to access homeless services in your county, keep your housing, and change your home. You can also call, email, or chat online with resource experts.
Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance Program www.mnhousing.org
Rental or energy assistance to help prevent utility shut-offs or an eviction.
- Landlords and Tenants: Rights and Responsibilities - The rights and duties of landlords and tenants in Minnesota law.
- Rental Rehabilitation Loan Program - Landlords can get help preserve existing affordable rental housing options in Saint Paul.
- How to Make a Housing Complaint - a how-to guide for residents to work with the City's Department of Safety and Inspections.
- Landlord 101 course: From the City of St. Paul, this class provides foundations for the development of property management skills and to better understand tenant, landlord relationships and responsibilities.
- Resources for Tenant & Landlord Issues (City of St. Paul Page)