A version of this message was sent to our Friends of CASA via email on July 29, 2022. Stay connected and up to date on the work CASA is doing to serve the immigrant community — join in here.

Our demands for housing justice are being ignored. That means it’s time for our voices to get louder. 

In a previous email, we shared how brave CASA leaders had organized a rent strike. Since then, CASA members in Prince George’s and Montgomery County addressed their local governments, taking over council meetings to demand that they take action to prevent family displacements due to rent increases.

During council meetings on July 27th, CASA Organizers and Members shared with elected officials the unjust situation that they and other renters are facing with rent hikes and poorly maintained units.  CASA leaders also called out council representatives for their lack of bilingual translation for renters that were participating in the meeting.

“It’s my home, I only come here to sleep because I’m working seven days to pay my rent… but I want to live here,” says Wilmer Chavarria.

Wilmer Chavarria, a Westgate resident whose rent was increased by $500 in June.

The resilient families from the Westgate at Laurel apartment complex who are now over 60 families strong are going into their 2nd month of rent strike. Families are fighting and putting themselves at greater risk of losing their homes because they cannot afford to pay such high rent while trying to live in homes with pests, untreated mold, and water damage. 

Renters gather in front of the council office to fight for tenant rights and justice for their homes.

Renters have since met with property management Schweb Partners LLC, but no resolution has been reached to protect renters from eviction and worsening living conditions.

“Sometimes you feel nervous when you speak to those persons, but we have to speak, because the rent is too high.” – Enrique Medina, who lives in Westgate with his family of four.

In solidarity,

Gustavo Torres

Executive Director, CASA