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Thu Feb 5, 2015, 07:15 AM

We need to fight for social housing instead of private ownership

We need to fight for social housing instead of private ownership. Spain’s anti-eviction movement shows how we can do it.




In Spain, the implosion of a bloated construction industry, massive unemployment, and a sharp decline in property values has left countless people facing eviction. As the members of the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (PAH, or the Platform for those Affected by Mortgages) emphasize in the recently released documentary Sí Se Puede!, eviction and foreclosure not only throw one out of housing, but society itself.

The film opens with a harrowing scene: three children sit on the stairs outside of their home, the youngest one quietly crying next to the suitcases that hold their belongings. The authorities begin to seal the door, rendering the family homeless. (Eviction is such a coercive act that even those tasked with executing it, such as locksmiths and police, have in some Spanish cities refused to do so.)

The film, which PAH has made freely available for screening, takes us through seven days with the movement in Barcelona — a welcome assembly, group therapy sessions, a political strategizing session, a national meeting of PAH nodes, a direct action against a bank, and several scenes in which PAH members confront bank managers to negotiate and discharge an individual’s debt.

It is incredibly inspiring. In a moment brimming with lament about ongoing austerity and what one PAH member calls the “rip-off that they call the crisis,” PAH turns the discourse of personal and individualized failures on its head. PAH has challenged the rhetoric of the state, the banks, and property developers who led people to believe that they could not lose by becoming homeowners regardless of their income or the nature of their employment.

PAH has also contested the ideology of ownership itself. As early as the 1950s, Spanish elites were waxing poetic about the liberal self-possessed individual, especially in the context of real estate and home ownership. As Franco’s minister for housing, José Luis Arrese, said in 1957, “We want a country of proprietors, not proletarians.”

Successive governments in Spain supported the real estate sector as the primary engine of economic growth, propping it up through financial and environmental deregulation that in turn fueled intense land speculation. It also radically changed the proportion of homeowners to renters.

Founded in February 2009 in Barcelona, PAH emerged in opposition to the devastation wrought by these policies. The movement has now spread throughout the country. Si Se Puede and the book Mortgaged Lives — written by two PAH founders, Ada Coulau and Adria Alemany — detail the anatomy of the real estate sector that was both vulnerable to the global financial crisis, and embodied the financial architecture and political ideology that has destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Spaniards.


more.........

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/01/spain-evictions-pah/

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply We need to fight for social housing instead of private ownership (Original post)
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2015 OP
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Feb 2015 #1
TBF Feb 2015 #2
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2015 #4
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Feb 2015 #5
TheKentuckian Feb 2015 #6
Ichingcarpenter Feb 2015 #3
2banon Feb 2015 #7
Mindfreak7 Feb 2015 #8
marble falls Feb 2015 #9
Mindfreak7 Feb 2015 #10
arcane1 Feb 2015 #11
Mindfreak7 Feb 2015 #12
marble falls Feb 2015 #14
Name removed Feb 2015 #15
marble falls Feb 2015 #13
Name removed Feb 2015 #16

Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 08:48 AM

1. I haven't gotten that far.

I'm still in favour of social housing along with private ownership. Ie, I think any neighbourhood within municipal limits should be a mix of privately owned and publicly owned housing, with publicly owned housing being made available to anyone who is homeless on a sliding scale - if you actually can afford rent, you pay some, if you can't, you don't. At least in this country, I'd read that we had more homes standing empty than homeless families to fill them, so it seems pretty stupid that we instead allow more than half a million Americans to have to stay on the streets while so many houses sit empty.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 09:18 AM

2. Everyone has their own comfort level -

and Marx himself distinguished between personal and private property.

Agree that getting the people into the open structures is the key issue

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 10:46 AM

4. maybe if the property is empty and not sold during a certain amount of time

it goes into a public trust to be used for housing.

Anyway I thought the article was interesting and thought outside the box.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 10:50 AM

5. That works too, although, of course, as soon as you set something like that up

the banks will simply start 'selling' properties back and forth at minimal amounts to avoid losing them or paying any real taxes.

My own suggestion, a year or two back, on another forum, was that taxes assessed on unoccupied properties should grow the longer a property sits empty, which would have a similar effect over time, when the banks would get to the point where they might as well sell cheap, or simply lose it to back taxes. But I'm sure there's a way for the banks to 'work around' that as well.

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Response to Erich Bloodaxe BSN (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 01:37 AM

6. It is only stupid if you aren't a soulless fuck. Otherwise, you'd appreciate

how artificial scarcity keeps upward pressure on both rents and home prices.

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Thu Feb 5, 2015, 09:39 AM

3. The Face Of The Oligarch Recovery: Luxury Skyscrapers Empty As NYC Homeless Population Hits Record H

Nowhere is the fraudulent and criminal “oligarch recovery” more on display than in my hometown of New York City. Despite benefitting more than any other community from an enormous taxpayer bailout of the industry that destroyed the economy, financial services, the vast majority of the wealth has been allocated to a handful of oligarchs.

To make matters even worse, American public policy, if you can even call it that, has been to encourage overseas oligarchs to park billions of dollars in U.S. real estate that largely sits uninhabited. Manhattan is a perfect example of this unproductive behavior and misallocation of capital. I covered this theme last year in the piece, Introducing Ghost Skyscrapers – NYC Real Estate Goes Full Retard, where it was noted that:


The Census Bureau estimates that 30 percent of all apartments in the quadrant from 49th to 70th Streets between Fifth and Park are vacant at least ten months a year.

New York City has never been known for its affordability, but a new crop of mega-luxury buildings in Manhattan are redefining sky-high prices. One 57 is the 1,000-foot high building looming over Central Park where an apartment has closed for as much as $90 million.

Jonathan Miller appraises the units at One 57. He said if you were to walk by at night the skyscraper would be largely dark because a majority of the units’ owners are international and don’t live here. They are using the apartments strictly as investments.

So as Manhattan builds eight figure luxury apartment units merely to serve as bank accounts for international oligarchs, New York City’s homeless population soars to a new record high. It’s the ultimate manifestation of how criminal and crony this so-called “recovery” has been.

From the New York Daily News:

The homeless population has risen to an all-time high, forcing the de Blasio administration to house desperate families in decrepit tenements red-flagged by the city’s own inspectors as hazardous.

Since he arrived at City Hall pledging to turn things around, Mayor de Blasio has struggled to confront a long-intractable problem that has only gotten worse.

By mid-December, the homeless census reached a record 59,068 — nearly the population of Utica, city records show. The Coalition for the Homeless says it peaked even higher at 60,352.

The homeless count, according to the city and the coalition, includes 25,000 children. And it represents a 10% jump from the 53,615 in shelters on de Blasio’s Inauguration Day.

So the S&P 500 and New York City homelessness increased 10% over the same timeframe. USA! USA!


http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2015/02/02/the-face-of-the-oligarch-recovery-luxury-skyscrapers-stay-empty-as-nyc-homeless-population-hits-record-high/

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 07:26 PM

7. yes, indeedy, yes indeed.

 

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Original post)

Sun Feb 15, 2015, 11:35 PM

8. Exactly!

 

Marx knew exactly what he was talking about!

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Response to Mindfreak7 (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 16, 2015, 01:38 AM

9. What is it Marx was right about?

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Response to marble falls (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 16, 2015, 02:41 AM

10. Everything of course comrade!

 

Isn't it obvious comrade! Marx laid the foundation of the glorious movement of socialism!

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Response to Mindfreak7 (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 16, 2015, 02:53 AM

11. Why would a Marxist be ready for Hillary?

 

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Response to arcane1 (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 16, 2015, 03:00 AM

12. She's our best bet

 

I feel that she's the most likely dem POTUS cantidate, and if she's elected we won't have to be exposed to any right Wong filth as we fight for our glorious movement comrade!

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Response to Mindfreak7 (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 16, 2015, 09:53 AM

14. Help me here, is Hillary a communist or a socialist?

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Response to marble falls (Reply #14)


Response to Mindfreak7 (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 16, 2015, 09:52 AM

13. I'm very confused. I thought Marx was a communist.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #13)

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