Theme II: Housing

The housing question has been essential in the current global crisis, most evidently manifested by the subprime mortgage crisis in the USA and the construction bubble in Spain. In Southern Europe, the housing sector has been a major economic driver, both historically but also due to the recent financialisation of housing production and consumption. In this context housing emerges as a pivotal issue, albeit from different perspectives. Yet, in all countries the crisis and its associated policies have affected both the housing conditions for a broad range of social groups (i.e. increase of homelessness, of number of evictions, inability to repay mortgages), as well as the housing markets (i.e. increase of empty properties, high unemployment in the housing sector, imposition of new property taxes). At the same time, discussions concerning the right to housing and the security of tenure are gaining far greater public attention and greater significance in claims and actions of urban social movements.

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