Housing: Hacking the Crisis of Home
From empty luxury condos in London to slum clearance in Istanbul, from mortgage debt crisis in Spain to unaffordable rents in Slovenia, we are witnessing different local expressions of the global housing condition. These local crises stem from the real estate-financial complex that has transformed housing into an investment opportunity for an increasingly unequal concentration of global surplus capital. The commodification of housing thus offers lucrative financial opportunities for upper classes, while at the same time contributes to the increasing residential alienation, housing insecurity and expropriation of the commons. States have contributed to these developments by not only deregulating housing markets and privatising public rental stock, but also by employing different entrepreneurial strategies that support private investment strategies while limiting the development of non-profit alternatives. Housing is thus no longer a source of individual or social stability and security, but of constant tension, conflict and exploitation. How can communities, in current conditions of financial plunder and state removal, come together to construct other scenarios? How can we develop new mechanisms of communal control that will once again embed housing markets in local social relations, that will treat housing as a communal resource and human right? Can we imagine another system that will not be based on housing as an investment, but will see it as a home?