Transnational views on the political challenges and transformative impacts of rising tenants’ movements. Two events to kick-start the debate.
On 17 September this year, 15,000 people joined a march in Amsterdam, demanding radical solutions to the housing crisis, with new demonstrations planned in Rotterdam, The Hague and other places. Demands are growing to end the taxation on rental houses and provide social housing for large parts of society. On 26 September, one million people in Berlin voted ‘Yes’ in a referendum for expropriation and socialisation of the housing stocks owned by big landlords such as Vonovia, the largest landlord in Europe. In Sweden the tenant movement successfully stopped the government’s plans of market-rent settings in June. Later 1,000 people demonstrated for housing as a social and human right in Stockholm. The tenant organisation Ort till Ort is also demanding expropriations of Vonovia.
These are just three inspiring examples of tenants’ protests that have risen during the past years and months in many countries across Europe and beyond. It is the necessary reaction to decades of deregulation of rents & property and the resulting fundamental crisis of affordable housing. Movements are searching and struggling for new forms of rent control and the socialisation property. After an age of marketisation and financialisation, many people consider the provision of housing for all as a public task and socialinfrastructure.
The struggle starts at local levels, and it is here where solutions are created. But the struggle cannot be won without confronting the political-economic structures and powers at national level and across borders. With our events we try set a few spotlights of information and debate on the contents, forms, and aspirations of the current movements, their political impacts, and challenges. What is their “relation” to the financial industries that govern the world?
Our aim is to identify questions, needs and options for further action and communication.
EVENT 1: A NEW CYCLE OF HOUSING STRUGGLES.
Political impacts and challenges of the rising tenants’ movements.
Time: Wednesday, 13 October, 18:00 – 20:00 CEST (Berlin-Amsterdam-Stockholm)
Link to the Webinar:
Reports and views from the movements:
- Introduction from a provincial German view; Knut Unger, Tenant Union of Witten
- Sweden: Sandra Mandell, Nej till Markadshyra (No to market rent!)
- Netherlands: Gwen van Eijk, Woonopstand and recht op Stad Rotterdam
- Views from southern Europe: Rita Silva, Habita!, Lisbon
EVENT 2: RESISTING TRANSNATIONAL LANDLORDS.
How to counter the Transborder Strategies of Financial Housing Investors.
Time: Wednesday, 27 October, 18:00 – 20:00 (Berlin-Amsterdam-Paris)
Link to the Webinar:
- Expanding Vonovia: The current state of big financialised housing industries. Knut Unger, MieterInnenverein Witten (Tenant Union) and MieterAKTIONärin (critical real estate shareholders), Witten/Ruhr, Germany
- Vonovia/Hembla in Sweden. , Ort till Ort, Stokholm-Husby
- Financial industries and housing in the Netherlands. Kees Stad, Globalinfo, Amsterdam
- Perspectives of tenant organisation at transnational landlords. The example of Akelius/Heimstaden. Yagner and Ella, StopHeimstaden & StoppAkelius Alliance in the Making, Berlin
Common debate: How do we improve knowledge sharing about transnational real estate? Which political strategies are effective against the growing political power of corporate landlords? Strategies and perspectives of tenants’ organisation.
Supporting organisations: Bond Precaire Woonvormen (NL), globalinfo.nl (NL), MieterInnenverein Witten (D), MieterAKTIONärIn (D), Ort till Ort (Swe)
Organised by: “Socialise Housing across Europe” activist research initiative.
In cooperation with Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.
If you want to receive updates write to: socialise-housing<at>reclaiming-spaces.org