The period of March to June of 2020 has seen the rise of the health, social and financial crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Social movements across the globe have organized in a swift and powerful response with campaigns, mutual aid networks and direct action. Housing movements on all continents have been integral to this. In fact, these past six months have meant a radicalization and growth of housing movements given how housing and the right to the city are intimately affected by the current crisis. We consider this to be a momentum for housing activists as networks across the world grew stronger and have advanced more international solidarity and organizing.
This second brochure, following up on its predecessor addresses these dynamics and developments by examining the recent interrelations between capital and housing, bringing these together under a single cover term, namely the ‘financialization of housing’. Its main goal is to provide clear answers to the many questions raised by this trend: an objective achieved in no small part thanks to the structure of the text taking its lead from a list of questions and its dense yet accessible style of writing.
In the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City we come together from all over Europe with a backpack full of ideas and experiences. Some of them we are gathering in this Action Booklet. All texts are based on interviews we made during the coalition meetings in 2017. We want to thank everybody for parti- cipating and hope to inspire you for your next action.
Evictions are phenomena that all our groups deal with in some form, encapsulating the brutality of property rights, while necessitating an activist response that is both forceful and caring. As the point at which landlords and the state find it most difficult to cover up class struggle, it seemed the obvious place for us to start. This text is not an analysis of the European housing market, nor a collection of organisers’ viewpoints on their action. It focusses on the forms that eviction takes (in essence who is affected), and demonstrates the flimsiness of the barriers between tenures as people fall through them towards ever-greater precariousness. We start with a short introduction on the reasons we resist evictions, which we hope will also clarify why we write about them.
In this brochure, we intend to carefully describe and shed a light on financialization of housing and propose different pathways for housing policy, away from financial speculation and big real estate interests.We call all European housing movements, also wider society, to raise their voices against the financialization of our cities and homes.We demand decent and affordable housing for all.
After 25 years, for the first time real estate managers, asset dealers and city sellers have not been alone at this year’s global property party “Mipim” in Cannes. The European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City, together with protesters from the region, have also been there. At our “Anti Mipim Tribunal” we presented cases from 12 countries which showed some of the consequences of the business which was celebrated at the Mipim. We accused of concrete business actors and local authorities for violating the right to the city. We stressed that these violations are not isolated cases but that they are necessary parts of a structural process of commodification, privatisation, financialisation and real estate speculation. We demonstrated why this profit-orientated business should be replaced urgently by alternatives that are orientated on the right of everybody to a have secure, adequate, guided by the everyone’s right to a healthy, non-segregating and affordable place to live.
The European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City asserts that the right to housing is a universal right! We militate for a system that assures housing for all! We want a public housing stock that assures the right to housing for those who cannot afford a home from the market, and makes the fulfillment of the housing needs of low-income people a high priority! We want to take out from the market as many buildings and as much land as possible. We demand that national laws implement the provisions of international treaties on housing rights and on forbidding forced evictions. We demand that central governments keep their responsibility towards the right to housing for all, in order to solve the problem at country level.
Our values demand the political, economic and social changes that could enable the realisation of decent housing for all. We also require the right to participate in effective decision-making on the spaces and resources of our cities, the commons that belong to all of us. We want evironmental sustainability and the possibility for inhabitants’ connection with the countryside. We oppose all forms of oppression, and we see housing as an intersectional issue that affects people differently, according for example to their migration status or gender. We are fighting for real political, economic, social, envrionmental and urban democracy. The Coalition brings together all movements and people that identify with its principles and objectives and agree to its structures.
This is the second of our 6-monthly bulletins. Through them we want to spread information about the housing struggles happening across the continent, reflect on how we are fighting them, and create space for analysis and discussion between housing groups. We hope this can increase the visibility of housing struggles, so please pass or send it around!
Voici le deuxième de nos bulletins semestriels. A travers ceux-ci, nous voulons répandre des informations sur les luttes du logement en cours à travers le continent, réfléchir sur pourquoi nous luttons et créer un espace d’analyse et de discussions entre les groupes actifs sur le front du logement. Nous espérons que ceci peut augmenter la visibilité des luttes pour le logement, donc nous vous demandons de le transmettre à d’autres et de le faire passer de main en main.
This is the first of our 6-monthly bulletins. Through them we want to spread information about the housing struggles happening across the continent, reflect on how we are fighting them, and create space for analysis and discussion between housing groups. We hope this can increase the visibility of housing struggles, so please pass or send it around!