Tag Archives: Europe

Socialise Housing across Europe!

The worsening housing problems in European cities are an important part of the general EU crisis. The EU treaties guarantee the free movement of capital (Art. 26 & 63 TFEU), the free competition of undertakings (Art. 107 TFEU) and the restriction of public budgets (Stability and Growth Pact, European Fiscal Compact).

Without a strong social counterpart, these constitutional principles protect and promote the abuse of property for the construction of globally traded financial assets.

Housing, however, is a basic need for everybody and thus a human right that is protected by international law. As far as the treatment of houses as financial assets threatens its affordability, accessibility, security of tenure, adequacy or habitability, the EU-member states are morally and legally obliged to control and socialise property for the benefits of their people. If the framework of the EU prohibits such social regulating, it becomes an institutional challenge to human rights. We want the opposite. We want the EU to become an internal and external stimulator, promoter and guarantor of the right of every person to have a secure, decent and affordable place to live.

For too long many people in Europe have endured the systematic abuse of land, homes, infrastructures and budgets for the increase of private profits, whilst those engaging in social action to protect the right to housing have found themselves on the defensive. There are hopeful examples, however, of successful emancipatory popular struggles for radical social changes in the housing system. In Berlin, for instance, a popular grassroots initiative is currently initiating a referendum for the expropriation of houses owned by landlords who own more than 3,000 apartments and the socialisation of their properties into democratic public entities. But the struggle cannot be won as long as it remains fragmented and only reduced to local and regional levels.

The housing crisis will never be overcome, unless the following policy changes are made:

  1. The adoption of the international right to housing as a fundamental duty of all EU institutions, member states and business and the concrete implementation of this basic human right in the form of a European housing strategy.
  2. Allowing, guaranteeing and supporting publicly regulated segments of democratic not-for-profit housing for broad strata of the population outside EU competition rules and financial capital flows.
  3. An EU-framework that allows, encourages and supports the strict social regulation of profit-oriented private landlords, market rents, land markets, mortgages, transparency, facility services and the consequences of mortgage default.
  4. Protecting, encouraging and supporting the engagement and organisation of tenants and other inhabitants for their rights and the needed structural changes in housing, land and real estate.

Support the decentralized European Housing Action DayTogether against displacement and #Mietenwahnsinn” on 6 April 2019!

First signatories:

Bond Precaire Woonvormen and Globalinfo (Netherlands), MieterInnenverein Witten (Tenant Union Witten, Germany), Habita! (Lisbon),  Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM, Belgium), Union Antiauctions Initiative and Stop Auctions (Greece), Observatori DESC (Barcelona)

 

German Tenant Union concerned about housing impact of Euro crisis

demands for investment prgrammes and non-profit housing sector 

On May 31 the assembly of the German tenant union DMB expressed concerns regarding “the still expanding negative impacts of the financial and Euro crisis and the neoliberal austerity policies on housing conditions in Europe, like housing losses for economic reasons, evictions and permanently increasing housing costs.”

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Come to London in October! Say No to MIPIM and AUSTERITY, Yes to Housing Rights!

The “London Radical Housing Network” supported by international activists who try to build a “European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing an the City”  have called for transnational action and meetings at the occasion of the real estate fair “MIPIM UK” in October (17th – 2oth). Here is their call in it’s 29th August version.

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Call for action: International solidarity with homeless people in Hungary

“Being homeless is not a crime!”

 “The City is for All” (Budapest) invites the friends all over the world to join the struggle against the criminalisation of homelessness in Hungary by action between Feb, 13th and Feb. 15th. The European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City supports the call.

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