On Sunday, November 28, housing rights groups and other progressive sections in the Dutch city of Groningen marched under the banner #Woonstrijd to protest the acute housing crisis in the city. Various groups including Shelter Our Students (SOS), International Socialists Groningen, New Communist Party of the Netherlands (NCPN), Communist Youth Movement (CJB), RED Groningen, Young Socialists Groningen, Democratic Academy Groningen, Groningen Feminist Network, and others, participated in the march while adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols. The protesters demanded a radical housing policy from the authorities which will be beneficial for all residents of the city.Continue reading
Berliners Vote On Expropriating Housing From Powerful Landlords
Most international coverage of the German elections is focused on who will replace Angela Merkel after her 16-year term as chancellor ends, but for everyday Berliners, just having the resources to pay the rent is a bigger concern.
Berlin’s efforts to lower the fast-rising rents in Germany’s capital city have led to a referendum which could expropriate and socialize almost a quarter of a million apartments primarily from Deutsche Wohnen, the largest real estate company in Europe and one of the largest companies in Germany.
After years of rising rent forcing many Berliners out of the city, activists led by Deutsche Wohnen & Co Enteignen (Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen, or DWE) received nearly 350,000 signatures from Berliners and managed to force a vote on whether to allow the expropriation of housing owned by landlords with over 3,000 units on the Sept. 26 election ballot.Continue reading
Yimby Movement Is Not The Answer To Housing Crisis
There is a battle raging in U.S. cities around land and who controls it. It is fought with zoning laws and red lines. Its battlefields are neighborhood associations and local elections. Across the country, racist reactionaries square off against capitalist developers in a struggle to determine the future of the housing market. In these types of battles, whoever wins, tenants lose, according to housing organizers working to halt the damage wrought by both developers and racist politicians.
The U.S.’s housing crisis began long before COVID eviction moratoria brought the problem into the spotlight. Median rent in the United States has increased 70 percent since 1995, even as real wages remained static. This lack of affordable housing kept millions of people one crisis away from losing their homes.Continue reading
Public Housing To Be Demolished In Tampa For New Development
Robles Park Village is a 433-unit public housing complex in Tampa Heights, Florida, near Ybor City. After months of inspections, city officials found that a small portion of this community was built on top of Zion Cemetery, a historic Black cemetery, forcing 88 units to be vacated to move forward with cemetery preservation processes. Following several surveying sessions, the remaining Robles Park residents were told by Tampa city officials that their homes were set to be demolished.
The Tampa Housing Authority along with Baker Barrios Architects and Property Markets Group announced a “master plan” for the Robles Park Village which is set to include over 1,000 new houses, resource facilities, and a Zion Cemetery memorial site. The Tampa Housing Authority reports that 85 percent of the new development will be “affordable rental housing” whileContinue reading
An Improbable Vanguard Of Poor People Is ‘Reclaiming’ Vacant Homes
On the night before Thanksgiving last year, Sasha Atkins, a 31-year-old hair stylist and single mom, hauled a few carefully chosen belongings – her phone, blankets, pillows and a laptop – into a vacant duplex on Shelley Street in Los Angeles’ El Sereno neighborhood and held her breath. Busting into an empty house was a last resort, but the pandemic has turned her precarious housing situation into an emergency. For three years, she and her son couch surfed or occasionally landed a motel room. But work had become scarce, and friends and family feared COVID-19 if they let new people into their homes. So, even though she was afraid, she moved forward.Continue reading
Report Warns Climate Change Threatens Affordable Housing
A recent study in Environmental Research Letters examined how coastal flood risks tied to climate change threaten affordable housing. The authors also touched on the social justice aspects of housing scarcity and climate change, as well as the importance of not displacing people when flood-preparation housing improvements are carried out.
“Affordable housing residents have far fewer safe options and much more to lose than their neighbors as sea level rise increases coastal flooding risks in their communities,” Benjamin Strauss, study co-author and Climate Central CEO and chief scientist, told Invisible People.Continue reading
Nearly 1,000 Homeless People Died In LA In 2020 As 93,000 Homes Sit Vacant
In many major metropolitan areas across the United States, there are far more vacant homes than people experiencing homelessness.
This is true in New York City, it’s true in the Bay Area, and as our new report shows, it’s true in Los Angeles. Here, there are 93,000 vacant homes compared to just over 41,000 unhoused people.
Our report, the product of a collaboration between UCLA School of Law and the community-based nonprofits Strategic Actions for a Just Economy and Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, is perhaps the most detailed look yet at the characteristics of residential vacancies situated in the broader speculative housing market in any city in the United States.Continue reading
Affordable Housing Developers Set their Sights On Former Toxic Oil Fields
California – On a busy corner in Vista Hermosa, a neighborhood just west of downtown Los Angeles, early signs of construction have begun on a 7-story, 64-unit apartment building called Firmin Court. The project’s developer, the Decro Group, has pledged that the new building, which is one of six active multi-family developments under construction in a five-block radius, will provide supportive and affordable housing for “chronically homeless individuals, persons at risk of becoming homeless, and low-income families.”Continue reading
Community Land Trust Builds Social Housing
European communities are adapting the U.S. model of the community land trust to mitigate the housing affordability crisis. While trusts in the U.S. stemmed from the civil rights movement with the goal of securing access to land for Black farmers in the South, European countries have applied the movement’s logic to rural and urban challenges and its spread has been broadly from the affluent northwest to the east.
Brussels, Belgium, known as the ‘capital of Europe,’ is one of many cities worldwide that are facing mounting pressure on their accessibly-priced housing stock.Continue reading
For Those Living In Public Housing, It’s A Long Way To Work
Let’s say there are two people in Atlanta who need jobs. They poke around on Snagajob, a job-search site for hourly work that lists hundreds of thousands of jobs in 300,000 locations. They scroll through listings for FedEx delivery driver, or shift manager at Wendy’s, or lot associate at Home Depot. But one job seeker lives in a public housing development, and the other doesn’t.Continue reading
Facing Skyrocketing Rents, Santa Cruz Grad Students Extend Wildcat Strike
Protesting low wages in one of the most unaffordable cities in the country, graduate students at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) went on a wildcat grading strike in December and are now organizing for a full strike, beginning February 10. Graduate student workers at the 10 UC campuses across the state receive the same wages—$2,434 a month, which after taxes amounts to just over $18,000 a year, given that we are only paid for nine months.Continue reading
How Wealthy Towns Keep People With Housing Vouchers Out
HARTFORD, Conn. — On a sweltering Saturday afternoon last June, Crystal Carter took a deep breath as she walked toward the red “for rent” sign. Shaded by tall oak trees, the three-story duplex looked cozy. The first floor siding was painted yellow, with white railings leading to the front door. The windows appeared new, the lawn freshly cut. Although the property was in Barry Square, on the edge of a struggling area in southern Hartford, the family outside buoyed Carter’s spirits.Continue reading
Finland Ends Homelessness And Provides Shelter For All In Need
In 2008 you could see tent villages and huts standing between trees in the parks of Helsinki. Homeless people had built makeshift homes in the middle of Finland’s capital city. They were exposed to harsh weather conditions. Since the 1980s, Finnish governments had been trying to reduce homelessness. Short-term shelters were built. However, long-term homeless people were still left out. There were too few emergency shelters and many affected people did not manage to get out of homelessness…Continue reading
Venezuela: Social Program Meets Goal, Delivers 3 Million Homes
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro Thursday announced that the Venezuelan Great Housing Mission (GMVV) achieved its 2019 goal by completing the delivery of 3 million dwellings to the Bolivarian people as planned. “Despite the Imperialist economic, trade and financial blockade, which robbed us of so many resources in 2019, the construction industry did not stop,” Maduro said at an event in the state of La Guaira where he handed over the keys of the dwelling number 3 million to a local family.Continue reading
Chicago Teachers Demand Affordable Housing As Strike Begins
More than 25,000 members of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and about 7,500 support staffers represented by Service Employees International Union Local 73 are walking out of schools in the nation’s third-largest school district today, joining a wave of teacher strikes across the country that began in early 2018. The strike comes on the heels of other teacher strikes in Oakland, Los Angeles, Colorado and Virginia earlier this year, and is CTU’s first since its eight-day strike in 2012, when teachers sought higher wages, fair teacher assessment and job security, among other issues.Continue reading