BRUSH is a tenant-based organization founded and driven by the very individuals who are most directly affected by the housing conditions that exist in this community. In January 2006, a small cadre of Harlem residents came together to form BRUSH, and within three months our organization was able to draw a pool of more than 250 tenants from within Harlem and Northern Manhattan for a community meeting to exchange information and discuss tactics to combat the systematic and illegal management practices of one particular realtor with several holdings impacting the entire area. Our mission became and continues to be the preservation of safe, affordable and quality housing in the face of the powerful forces gentrifying Harlem and Northern Manhattan.
Through our efforts we envision bringing residents, particularly low-income residents of color, into the center of decision-making processes that daily affect their lives. Through community organizing and grassroots advocacy, BRUSH will build on its mission to construct community power and bring forth systemic change and economic justice in housing, in a way that is nationally replicatable, for traditionally marginalized populations.