About Us

Smash The Slumlords

Smash the Slumlords is a grassroots campaign to defeat slumlords, end gentrification and develop Miami for the people, by the people. We express community through resident organizing, democratic affordable housing development and by playing lots of video games. The campaign has created two formal organizations, SMASH and WORLDS. SMASH is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit developer of affordable housing and WORLDS is a worker-owned cooperative video game event business. By working together under the “Smash the Slumlords” campaign, Miami will have the dignified housing and community-developed wealth necessary to create a new era of leadership, direct from the 305.

Smash the Slumlords es una iniciativa para poner fin a la gentrificación y desplazamiento en Miami por atravez de una campaña contra los proprietarios negligentes.  El sitio documentará el proceso de elaboración de un centro comunitario en centro de la ciudad de Miami. Este centro comunitario será un recurso de la comunidad amplia y flexible, con la propia comunidad que tiene la mayor cantidad de control democrático sobre cómo se utiliza. El objetivo principal del centro será proporcionar el mecanismo y recursos para la creación de vivienda asequible permanente en Miami, algo que enfrentara el ciclo vicioso de la pobreza.  Smash the Slumlords esta separada en una empreza sin fines de lucro y otra empreza con fines de lucro la cual da los fondos al trabajo sin fines de lucro.

 

SMASH

Mission:

SMASH’s Mission is the creation of a Community Land Trust that will adequately address the needs of inner-city Miami residents affected by the symptoms of gentrification (slumlords, rising rents, lack of community control), and that is shaped, developed and implemented by those same residents.

Vision:

SMASH has a vision of a Miami free of slumlords and gentrification.

Problem:

Gentrification has made Miami the most unaffordable city in America. When families can’t afford to live anywhere, they are forced to live in slum buildings, with rats, mold, mildew, roach infestations, disease, unsanitary conditions and slumlords who refuse to do anything about it. Slumlords continue to get away with this abuse because families have no other choice, and every decent dwelling is too expensive.

Solution:

Our solution is to take back the land from the slumlords. We empower residents to work with lawyer allies to bring slumlords to justice. Slum buildings are replaced with quality affordable housing controlled by residents through Community Land Trusts. Miami is equitably developed, block by block until slumlords are gone. Community control ensures that residents are protected from the forces of gentrification and displacement.

History:

SMASH began when Adrian Madriz and Berlinda Dixon, residents of Overtown, got together with Porgie “Gigi” Town, Sharice Taylor and other residents of Liberty City to do something about slumlords that were taking advantage of the neighborhoods. Forming the group was not easy, and in Gigi’s case, she was reluctant to be involved in the campaign for fear of repercussions from her slumlord. But with time, and many conversations that focused on the collective need, even residents like Gigi came to be part of the campaign, and through our efforts, in partnership with other grassroots organizations, we were able to take legal action against the slumlord and have their property placed under the City’s control. Now SMASH is dedicated to creating a new future for our residents, where they control the land and their destiny.

In addition to the legal action, SMASH has successfully formed a Community Land Trust non-profit organization using residents from the affected community, and has garnered the support of the Mayor and the Director of Community Development to create the CLT on public land.

The Liberty City Committee on Slum and Gentrification, a campaign under SMASH, is an initiative of residents from this historically Black, working-class community organizing against gentrification and slumlords. Residents meet with Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs) working on housing and displacement issues. This ensures that residents are meeting with the right stakeholders to make the most informed decisions about their community’s future

Leadership:

SMASH is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of grassroots leaders from Liberty City, Overtown and Little Havana. In addition, there are professionals in residence who have experience managing non-profits and developing affordable housing that guide the work of the community leaders. Adrian Madriz is currently the Project Lead, equivalent to Executive Director, and reports to the Board for all of the actions taken by the organization

More history:

In 2014, low-income residents forced to live in slum-like conditions due to lack of resources began to organize for their rights to affordable, dignified housing and formed the “Smash the Slumlords” campaign. The women organized community meetings, educated other residents about their rights, garnered support from the city mayor and sought out legal action against slumlords. Conversations focused on the collective need and partnership with other grassroots organizations recruited allies from outside their community and helped bring the campaign into public light. Legal action against one slumlord led to his prosecution and the City of Miami placed his property under their control.

Afterwards, the residents of Liberty City rightfully demanded that the slumlord face greater consequences and that the buildings be repaired. However, when it became apparent that the buildings were so woefully neglected that they could only be condemned and destroyed, the City faced a new challenge: where to relocate the families in a city where there is a chronic shortage of affordable housing stock? In response to this dilemma, SMASH has tasked itself with developing expedited affordable housing units for these families on a Community Land Trust (CLT). Unlike other affordable housing projects, this one would be unique for its prioritization of extremely low-income families, and the community driven design and management process through the CLT model. This would not only provide the slum affected families of these buildings with the transitional housing units they need, but it could also be re-used for every set of families that find themselves in similar circumstances. Once they are relocated, their original buildings can be condemned, destroyed and rebuilt into permanent affordable housing where the families have a right to return.

SMASH es una parte de la campaña “Smash The Slumlords”, que ha estado sucediendo desde marzo de 2014. Nos hemos reunido con miembros de la comunidad acerca de cuáles son sus sueños y aspiraciones son, y cómo slumlords, aburguesamiento y la crisis de la vivienda asequible se les impide alcanzar esos sueños.

Estamos muy contentos de ser finalmente tan cerca de la creación de vivienda asequible permanente para las comunidades de bajos ingresos de Miami. Por favor, aprender sobre nosotros y nuestra misión de manera que podemos crear el futuro de Miami juntos como un solo pueblo, unido.

Miami. Por favor, aprender sobre nosotros y nuestra misión de manera que podemos crear el futuro de Miami juntos como un solo pueblo, unido.

WORLDS

WORLDS’s mission is the creation of an enterprise that will function as a hub for Miami’s tech entrepreneurs that will be democratically directed by its employees and members and that will function as a vehicle of financial support for the Smash the Slumlords campaign.

La misión de mundos es la creación de una empresa que va a funcionar como un centro para emprendedores tecnológicos de Miami que serán dirigidas democráticamente por sus empleados y miembros y que funcionarán como un vehículo de apoyo financiero para la rotura violenta campaña de los señores de los suburbios .

La misión de mundos es la creación de una empresa que va a funcionar como un centro para emprendedores tecnológicos de Miami que serán dirigidas democráticamente por sus empleados y miembros y que funcionarán como un vehículo de apoyo financiero para la rotura violenta campaña de los señores de los suburbios .