Luis Caguana, InquilinXs UnidXs Por Justicia
Luis Caguana hails from Cuenca, Ecuador. He was raised on the Guayaquil, a town on the Ecuador’s coasts. He came to Minneapolis in 1999 to work dish washing in the restaurant industry. He was in search of a better future for his family. In 2014, he helped found inquilinxs unidxs por justicia (Renters United for Justice). He suffered landlord intimidation, faulty repairs, broken windows, no heat, bed bugs, cockroaches and much more. He has helped build power for more than 100 residents who resisted rent increases, won rent abatement, and rent control contracts in their buildings. He is serving his second term on the board of directors of Inquilinxs Unidxs and was appointed as community speaker. He fights for better treatment, and respect for tenants so that renters will never be treated like animals ever again.
The majority of poor families in America who are renters spend over half of their income on housing costs, and eviction is upending their lives. Pulitzer Prize-winning sociologist Matthew Desmond’s work points to housing instability as a key cause, not just a symptom, of poverty in the U.S. Given this, all those who seek to address poverty and inequality must learn about and address this crisis. Desmond’s talk will be followed by discussion among a panel of experts will explore the question of what funders can most effectively do to work toward solutions to this problem.