Call for the Housing Action Day on the 28th of March 2020
Since the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, the fight for the right to housing and the city has only intensified: our homes continue to be a gold mine and a mere share on the stock exchange market that does not see people and sees only profit.
Housing speculation is driving up rents and property prices, while the amount of affordable and public housing continues to decline. Our communities and neighbourhoods are rapidly being restructured to generate more profit: our favourite pub, our indispensable kindergarten or our local kiosk are under threat or have already been displaced.
While some of us have become homeowners and took on debt so that we could have a roof over our heads – always facing the risk of losing our homes to the bank as many did, some of us are tenants and receive eviction notices or rent increases that take away more and more of our monthly income. Our houses are being sold and resold with tenants inside for profit, our rents continue to rise, our homes turn into offices and co-working spaces, holiday apartments, or simply remain vacant as a financial investment.
We are served eviction notices and get violently removed from our homes, torn out of our neighbourhoods, and on to the streets. As homeless people we are forced to live in inhumane conditions.
These cruelties have become an everyday occurrence in many places in Europe and around the world. But we will not tolerate this injustice and violence any longer. The sellout of cities in the interest of the few is not a law of nature, but the consequence of an uninhibited economic system and a policy that seems to have lost any sense of social responsibility. Together we can change that!
All over the world people are rising to demand our housing rights: we need to get organized in our neighbourhoods, join forces in tenant organisations and right-to-the-city groups, block evictions, squat vacant houses, stop the auctions of our homes, and create alternative forms of living by sharing experiences with people in other cities and countries..
Housing for people – not for profit!
We stand in solidarity together and demand that our homes and cities must stop being sources of profit. We want to live in decent housing without fear of being evicted as housing is an essential place to any living being: it is our home, not a commodity!
We want cities that represent our diversity and, as such, we advocate for the full integration of the various social, cultural, educational and economic dimensions of our cities; regardless of income, ethnicity, geographical origin, sexual orientation, gender or age. We want to have the right to live in a decent home and to actively participate in the development and transformation of our cities.
We, a Europe-wide coalition of tenant and right-to-housing/city groups, demand:
1. Real social rents and a fundamentally different rent law. No profit from our rents and homes!
2. An end to evictions and homelessness. Housing First in dignified houses and a legally enforceable right to housing!
3. End vacancy! We demand that the renting of speculative vacancy can be forced. Legalize squatting!
4. Real democratic participation and collective rights for tenants and residents. We want to decide what happens to our homes and our cities!
5. A new non-profit status in the housing sector, an end to the land speculation, a socialization of land ownership and large housing companies. Housing and land must be a collective good!
6. Everyone should have the right to choose their form of housing.
7. A radical change of course in policies and economy: for a social and ecological urban development!
As long as our right to housing is not being enforced, the injustice in the housing sector will not come to an end as profit will always weigh more than social justice in this economic system. We will continue to raise the pressure until the right to adequate housing is guaranteed to all!
We stand side by side, beyond the city limits and across national boundaries, in protest, resistance, solidarity and with alternatives!
Join the worldwide Housing Action Day on the 28th of March 2020.
In the last few years, people have taken to the streets demanding a better housing and urban policy; on the 6th of April 2018, tens of thousands of people demonstrated for the right to housing in almost 50 European cities.
We call for everyone to go out to the streets together, on the same day in cities across Europe, because we care for each other and are united in common interests. Every local group is completely free to set their own agenda, to stress their local topics and use their preferred form of action.
Many participating groups are part of the “European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City”, a European wide network of over 30 organisations fighting together against the housing crisis in our cities and countries.
We chose the 28th of March in solidarity with tenants in France because it is the end of the winter truce for evictions. The French winter truce starts every year in October and extends to March, but from April on, the tenants in France face forced evictions and homelessness once again.
If you want to be part of the action day 2020 with people from your city and/or organisation, you are more than welcome to join our movement on the 28th of March.
For further information: