The European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City is a convergence process between movements from different cities in several european countries fighting for the respect of these fundamental rights. After having campaigned independently for years, those movements (groups and, social movements composed by tenants, slum/ self-built neighborhoods dwellers, squat residents, victims of inadequate housing, victims of eviction or affected by indebtedness, professionals and researchers) felt the need to gather in order to strengthen this fight to take common action and common positions on European Housing issues.
European Union has gradually adjusted its policies on the neo-liberal model involving market self-regulation, the withdrawal of the welfare state and the erosion of the social model.
To this adjustment was added the “crisis” phenomenon, which had an unprecedented impact on housing conditions all over Europe: increasing commodification process, deregulation, reduced public investment and financialisation; that made access conditions to descent housing even more difficult and caused the weakening of housing policies, the increase of inadequate housing, victims of evictions and homeless people and the sharp rise of rents and housing prices. These phenomena thus reinforce Cities and social segregation.
Given the emergency of the situation, common campaigns and actions have been set up between European movements. Anti-Mipim* campaigns were held in Cannes and London in 2014, decentralized actions to protest against vulture funds such as “Blackstone”, responsible of massive purchases of properties and thus promote speculation dynamics.
All these joint-actions emerged from a strong will to create a European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City, in order to adopt common positions on European housing policies and to create solidarity bonds between all those movements, which will enable them to strengthen their own struggles. The Coalition is a fundamental convergence of movements in an European space increasingly at the service of finance and deregulatory policies which affect the fundamental rights, and drive its populations to poverty and precariousness in all dimensions of their lives.
*The biggest real estate fair worldwide – conference, exhibition, networking and transaction – where properties and lands are sold and tap into high-potential real estate markets in a non-transparent and non-democratic way.