Housing Actions – December 2022
The winter months are particularly difficult for those facing housing problems. Homeless people are even more vulnerable and at greater risk. For those facing poverty, heating and rent increases can be a major challenge. Everyone is feeling the effects of the energy crisis with the rise of prices on energy bills. Households’ evictions are particularly cruel during these months, yet they are a reality as only a few countries apply a winter moratorium on evictions. As a result, too many people still get evicted in sub-zero temperatures.
In December, a lot of housing actions took place across Europe: demonstrations, campaigns, commemorations, house occupations. These actions are very important because they keep the housing problem in the public discourse, raise awareness of the need to act, and sometimes offer real solutions. The fight for housing justice is essential, we support our comrades who take action to defend it!
Housing is not a privilege, it is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to adequate housing. This is what we will continue to fight for.
28.11 / Stockholm, Sweden: DEMONSTRATION AGAINST RENT RAISES by Ort till Ort
“We are not indifferent consumers, our rents should be used to take care of the houses we live in, not to fill holes in the municipal budget.
🔥 We from Ort till Ort are fighting as tenants to make our voices heard outside of the dysfunctional system that raises our rents every year. For decades, the Tenants’ Association (Hyresgästföreingen) has met the property owners at the negotiating table, but negotiations without action and consequence are toothless. Together, we must strengthen our position beyond the negotiations to make resistance that gives weight to our demands.
It is with methods such as rent strikes and property blockades that we can put real financial pressure on the property owners. So that WE together can influence our housing situation in a meaningful way..
Our demands from the politicians are:
- 0% rent increase during renovation
- 6% rent reduction at the 2023 rent negotiation”
3.12 / Frankfurt, Germany: NEW SQUAT in Frankfurt Gallus
🔥 Comrades occupied a house in Frankfurt Gallus, a former working-class neighbourhood that has been gentrified over the past 20 years. The occupied house is to be demolished in spring 2023, along with an entire complex of buildings formerly used by a major German newspaper. The demolition of the building has no other purpose than to further gentrify the neighbourhood. 😡
3.12 / London, UK: FREEZE RENT NOT RENTERS ACTION
📣🔥 London Renters Union came together for a DAY OF ACTION! All across the city, real estate agents had closed their doors as people took action to demand an emergency #RentFreezeNow! #freezerentnotrenters #homesforpeoplenotforprofit #rentfreezeeverywhere 🏠✊
3.12 / Athens, Greece: FUNDRAISING FOR EXARCHIA
Comrades of the assembly against the metro station on Exarcheia square launched a fundraising campaign for legal and other expenses.
“Exarcheia facing extinction: Help the locals to fight back!
🔥 Support the ongoing, multi-level struggle against gentrification and police repression!
🔥 Help to continue the case in court against state irregularities!
🔥 Lay a hand of #solidarity for covering judicial expenses of revengefully persecuted comrades!”
7.12 / Bucharest, Romania: SPONTANEOUS PROTEST AGAINST AN ILLEGAL EVICTION
“🔥 We stand in solidarity with the families illegally evicted by the gendarmerie at 7-9 Anton Pann Street in the middle of the winter before the holidays. They received no summons, no written justification, and now 20 people, including minor children and elderly and sick family members, are at risk of being left on the streets in the coldest season.
We are now at the City Hall of Sector 3, at 192 Calea Dudești. Come join us to demand accountability from the administration! Let’s get the mayor, the vice mayor and the whole management. We’re not leaving here until people get an acceptable housing solution.
The eviction of Anton Pann 7-9 is illegal, done without papers, without a court order, without an eviction order…”
15.12 / Grenoble, France: SCHOOL OCCUPATIONS BY HOMELESS FAMILIES
🟨✊ In Grenoble (France), 7 schools are being occupied by #homeless families. The families’ children are enrolled at these places and they have the support of teachers and parents!!
🔥 They are asking for decent solutions of #emergency #housing.
16.12 / Berlin, Germany: COMMEMORATION of the HOMELESS STAGE
The “Homeless stage” is one year old! It was illegally built overnight in a Berlin park to offer a platform for all to talk about their housing situation, a space of memory and struggle against #homelessness.
“This stage is for those affected by structural violence whether through precarious housing, homelessness or eviction. It is a place to be visible, to meet and to stand together against this kind of violence.”
17.12 / Cluj-Napoca, Romania: MARCH AGAINST EVICTIONS
In Cluj-Napoca comrades from Căși sociale ACUM / Social housing NOW marched to commemorate the biggest eviction of their city.
“For 12 years, in December, we have been commemorating the eviction of 350 Roma people from Coastei Street and their forced relocation near the Pata Rât waste dumps. Over the years, the ranks of those in Cluj have grown in solidarity with the cause of those evicted on 17 December 2010, but also with the Roma who have been in the same area, on Canton Street, since the early 2000s, as well as with the Roma who have been living in Dallas and doing waste sorting work on the city’s landfill for over four decades.
But that’s not enough! Racism still persists in the city, both on the streets and at institutions. And City Hall continues to show no firm action to address the problem of toxic housing in Pata Rât. People continue to die there prematurely from diseases aggravated by pollution. Those who survive hear the mayor’s promise that Pata Rât will be gone by 2030. But what that disappearance means, or how it will happen, no one is telling those affected by the plans that appear to make way for new #housing developments in Pata Rât.”
Together with them, on 17 December 2022, Social Housing NOW! commemorated the old #evictions, and celebrated Cluj’s decade-long fight against evictions!
17.12 / Lisbon, Portugal: CAMPAIGN-LAUNCH FOR A REFERENDUM AGAINST HOLIDAY RENTALS
🖤💛 #Portugal: On december 17, Movimento referendo pela habitação (MRH) — #Referendum for #Housing — launched its signature collection campaign for the Lisbon local referendum against holiday rentals! Airbnb lobbies are very scared of this referendum, and this is a good thing!
Movimento referendo pela habitação is a horizontal non-partisan social movement. It’s aim is to obtain a local referendum to change the #Lisbon municipal law on #holidayrentals in order to prevent commercial activity to take place in buildings with housing licenses. ✊🔥
In Lisbon 20.000 housing units are currently registered as holiday rentals. That’s 8,3% of city’s total housing stock! Since 2014, holiday rentals in Lisbon grew 1993%! 🤯
Holiday rentals like #Airbnb contribute directly to uncontrolled increase in housing prices, #expulsion of resident populations & dismantling of neighborhood relations. 🤬 Today the population is fighting a daily battle to avoid #evictions and find #AffordableHouses
For the referendum to be implemented Movimento referendo pela habitação needs to gather a lot of support in the city, build alliances and deepen #solidarities!
Let’s do what we can to let their struggle be known, because their struggle is our struggle.
🗣️ Housing for people, not profit!