With the occasion of the International Roma Day we are organising a coordinated action to reclaim housing justice for Roma, in particular for Roma belonging to the impoverished working class. Organised by the Common Front for Housing Rights, the E-Romnja Association and the Desire Foundation - C??i Sociale ACUM/ Social housing NOW!, with the support of the European Actin Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City we run simultaneous protests and call to action in several locations in Romania: Bucharest, Cluj, Timisoara, Giurgiu, Valea Seaca and Mizil alongside Roma activists engaged in housing struggles.
In the Romanian context, anti-Roma racism is at the heart of housing injustice spread from cities to the countryside. Evictions, gentrification, displacement, high rents, reduced access to social housing, overcrowding or lack of housing documents all impinge upon the housing conditions of Roma. At the centre of all of these injustices is the structural racism of the state, society and the real estate market in its current neoliberal form. And much too often those who are mostly affected are impoverished working class Roma, including those labouring in the formal and informal economy or in their households. Importantly, they are also the ones that most often organise and resist against housing injustices, reclaiming public housing for all.
Tackling all these housing injustices requires a just and anti-racist housing politics backed by legislative and institutional transformation which connects housing legislation with social and non-discrimination provisions as well as construction and urbanism law. To respond to claims for intersectional legislation requires that the housing first principle is fundamental to social protection and housing policy given that material conditions define the possibilities of people in all life domains.
We claim that the Romanian Government and relevant Ministries take concrete and immediate action to adopt an adequate National Strategy of Housing with the aim to change the Housing Act!
We claim that local municipalities adopt measures to increase the social housing stock and to change the criteria of allotting such housing so as to solve the housing problems described above that most severely affect Roma people.
We call to solidarity! Join the action of Roma in the house!
In Europe, Roma evictions still happen on a regular basis, shedding light on the racism of both local and centralised administrations, and as well on how urbanisation became part of the process of the accumulation of capital.
We stand against the romanticisation of nomadic life.
We stand against the portrayal of Roma communities and individuals as sole victims of housing injustice. Instead we assert the struggles of resistance spread out wherever injustices occur.
We stand critical to the short-lived policies of the EU institutions that do not act properly against the violations of human-rights, including housing rights in the Member States, and does not assume a European housing policy informed by the principles of social justice and anti-racism and reinforced in our everyday realities.
We stand against the racist Europe, based on white and Western privilege and domination.
Immediate stop of all forced evictions that create homelessness or relocate the victims of evictions into inadequate homes!
Stop all deportations and forced resettlements!
Adequate housing for all!
We call to solidarity! Join local actions of Roma in the house!