A Tireless Proponent for Fair and Affordable Housing
Join us for a new series of stories from the Center for Local History highlighting members of our community who made a difference in ways that helped shape our history and created positive change.
Their voices were not always loud, but what they said or did had a significant impact on our community.
Charles Rinker (1940-2015) was a tireless proponent for fair and affordable housing in Arlington County. His reach also extended to Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax County in Virginia as well as Montgomery County and Baltimore in Maryland.
His ability to meld economic savvy with public advocacy and popular sentiment made him a powerful and highly effective presence in organizations he helped found and establish such as AHC, Inc. (Arlington Housing Corp.), Arlington New Directions Coalition, A-HOME (Arlington Home Ownership Made Easier), TOAC (Tenants of Arlington County) and BRAVO (Buyer and Renters Arlington Voice).
Never reluctant to confront institutional resistance, Rinker’s ethos could perhaps best be summarized by his statements:
“If private profit is made in such a way as it deprives others in the society of the necessities of life—food, shelter, clothing, health, etc.—then it’s wrong, no matter what face one tries to put on it.”
“Ultimately we need more than the criticism of friends and neighbors to deter the displacement of low-and-moderate income households…but moral indignation from the community would be a good start.”
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