Robert Reyes Villagomez's profile photo

Robert Reyes Villagomez

Statewide Organizer, Housing California

Robert Reyes Villagomez's profile photo
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Start Year: 2022
TRHT Pillar: Racial Healing and Relationship Building


Robert Reyes Villagómez is a housing justice organizer. In 2018, they graduated from New York University with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. They went on to organize an environmental and health justice campaign in Uniontown, Alabama. Robert conducted a participatory toxicology study and held classes on the arts and civic engagement at Robert C. Hatch Highschool in Uniontown, Alabama. During this campaign, they found their place in the racial justice movement in the U.S. thanks to their mentor, Esther Calhoun.

Robert then worked as a tenant organizer in the Bronx, New York, and saw first-hand the intersection between housing and health in a low-income, multi-racial community. Mold, infestation, and lack of services plagued the hundreds of families they worked with. Together, families organized to pressure their landlords and regulatory agencies to win improvements in their living conditions.

In 2020, Robert moved back home to Los Angeles, where they have organized mutual aid programs, assisted and created tenant associations in respond to unfolding health and housing crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the statewide organizer with the Resident’s United Network (RUN), Robert work to develop RUN’s organizing capacity to build resident power and organize effective campaigns to end the housing crisis. Robert’s goal is to connect local and regional tenant organizing into a powerful statewide movement that pushes elected officials both in the capital, and back home to create material change. In every situation, they work across race and class to form communities of care that challenge power and demand accountability.

Future Focus

Robert works to create organizing spaces that are rooted in the TRHT framework — providing a space to both heal through community building and take collective action. Robert looks forward to strengthening RUN’s statewide tenant leadership in the newly formed RUN Steering Committee, supporting regional organizers and creating holistic campaigns that use a variety of tactics to achieve goals set by those on the frontlines of the housing crisis. Robert works to realize a statewide, tenant-led movement that will end the housing and homelessness crisis in California.

Post-Institute: Transformative Action Plans

Robert incorporates the TRHT strategic framework into grassroots organizing and decision-making in affordable housing communities. The process includes planning community meetings using the TRHT process, organizing tenant associations, and providing support spaces to community members. Anticipated outcomes include implementing the TRHT strategic framework, training Residents United Network (RUN) members, establishing resident councils, and fostering a long-term culture shift. Robert’s plans aim for narrative change, shifting the stigma of affordable housing and fostering racial healing.

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Culture of Health Leaders Institute for Racial Healing

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program