This last December 2016 PAH participated at the Right to the City Round Table organized by Rose Luxemburg New York (www.rosalux-nyc.org). This year’s theme was “Ground/Shift: Building New models for Alternative Housing”
We were extremely lucky to share the event with inspiring organizations like Right to the City (http://righttothecity.org ), Burlington Community Land Trust (http://www.getahome.org/) , Mietshäuser-Syndikat (https://www.syndikat.org) , Urban Habitat (http://urbanhabitat.org ), Autonomous Tenants Union Chicago (https://www.facebook.com/AutonomousTenantsUnion/about/), Archipel-Zürich (www.archipel.ch) , Cooperation Jackson-Jackson (www.cooperationjackson.org) among others.
In Spain New models for alternative housing are almost inexistent and the only way to access housing is though ownership (85%) or rent (15%). There is nearly no public housing (only 1%) and other mechanisms to access housing (well known around the world as our meeting portrayed) have never been a priority or an objective for any Spanish government over the past 50 years. This is why this round table has been so relevant for us to learn from successful and ongoing projects. Cities like Berlin, Burlington or Zurich provide us with excellent examples and a strong toolkit based on their longterm experience on how to make housing a right and not a commodity.
We also put together our thoughts and ideas on how to fight rising extremist in both sides of the Atlantic and nonstopping neoliberal housing policies across the board. We agreed that social movements need to coordinate and fight together to create a new narrative to counter the one extremism is trying to build. Our solidarity and cooperation will proove stronger than their search for nationalism, close boarders, and exclusionary politics. Housing is a human right for all and we will continue to guarantee it.