A civic-activist initiative, the Social Housing NOW! [Casi sociale ACUM] campaign seeks to problematise social housing in Cluj, given the context of severe reductions of the public housing stock and the galloping transformation of housing into a real estate commodity during the past decade. Consequently, the existing social housing stock is not only insufficient to cover the needs of residents, but it has also become inaccessible exactly to those who should rightfully occupy it. In order to change the prevailing tendency of social/public housing policy in the city, to support the improvement of life conditions of all citizens who contribute to the city through their labour, seeking to promote social justice for those pushed to the margins of society, where their labour and existence is inferiorised, humiliated and exploited, a housing first policy is needed in local governance that would thus recognise the centrality of housing to the material, social and psychological life of people. The campaign’s initiators recognise the primordial character of housing and demand local and national governments to abide to the housing first principle.
For the coming years, we intend to further the political activism for housing justice through supporting the access to adequate public housing of the precariatized working class, including impoverished ethnic Roma, transforming the issue of public housing into a political subject and building up political solidarity around housing as primordial need and fundamental right versus housing as commodity, mobilizing different social actors at local level around a movement for public housing and an anti-racist housing politics, as well as participating in national and transnational coalitions for housing rights.