People from all European countries are experiencing the deterioration and violation of their right to housing and the city, coupled with an increase in prices, debt and the growing threat of eviction. The European Union is commodifying public housing and encouraging speculation and financialisation. The decimation of public policies safeguarding the right to housing is contributing to the impoverishment of families and the rise of inequality in our cities. With more than 11 million empty homes, and similar numbers of homeless people – European citizens, migrants and refugees included – evictions are constantly on the rise.
The European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City is composed of tenants’ movements, those in inadequate housing, victims of eviction, trade unionists, those affected by debt, slum and self-built neighborhood dwellers, squatters, campaigners and researchers. We are organizing and struggling all over Europe against this process of privatization and exclusion, and we converge in analysis and action by saying: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Solutions to this huge social problem exist, and local and national governments as well as the European Union, have the duty to act with immediate and adequate policies: first, a European directive for a general moratorium on evictions; then massive investment for public / social housing to meet the needs of the population. Further measures should include heavily taxing speculation in empty houses and requisitioning these buildings for use as social/ public housing; introducing rent control to make housing affordable to those in the private sectors as well as in the public, and committing to the housing of asylum seekers and refugees. Meanwhile we will continue to reclaim in a self-managed way spaces abandoned and emptied by capital, and promote spaces in the city where community life is based on mutual aid and solidarity.
However, these solutions call into question the power, and eventually the very existence of the real estate speculators who profit by privatising and selling off whole chunks of our cities. As diverse local movements we have many struggles including both public and private targets.
The European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and to the City is calling for decentralised and coordinated action in for 2 weeks from October 10th in order to denounce those responsible for the evictions of inhabitants from their housing in all our countries, shouting together: No People without Homes, No Homes without People!
Actions are already being planned in Italy, Hungary, UK, Poland, France, Czech Republic, and other countries. We are pleased that at the same time the World Zero Evictions Campaign is networking many actions internationally.
Get in contact to find out more or to get involved!