22 November in Marseilles, Reclaiming Housing Rights in Europe!

Massimo suburbanstudio at runbox.com
Fri Nov 7 01:06:57 GMT 2008

22 November in Marseilles, Reclaiming Housing Rights in Europe!

The European Minister of Housing and Urbanism will meet Monday November 
24 in Marseilles (France).

Since they meet, the prices of rents, real estate and land have never 
been higher, rents and speculative profits have been madly on the rise, 
lack of housing and precarity in housing have been knocking at each 
door. The rights of tenants suffer direct attacks, home ownership is at 
the price of unsustainable loans, the so-called "revitalization" is 
evicting the urban working classes not only from inner cities but also 
from suburbs, forced and urgency evictions are increasing, social 
housing is threatened through privatization and funding tools being 
actively dismantled, repression is hitting peoples suffering precarity 
in housing.

Ministers are only worried with profits of speculators and banks 
threatened by a real estate crash. As for the European Central Bank, 
supposed to curb inflation, it does not seem to have noticed that 
housing costs!

Choosing Marseilles, the ministers could not have found a better place 
of example about the dramatic consequences of the financial 
globalization of real estate, 20 years of bad policies in the fields of 
planning and housing and the concurrence between cities organized by 
Europe in the context of the Lisbon strategy. Thus the working class 
center of Marseille is under high speculation encouraged by local 
authorities. For example, at rue de la Republique hundreds of families 
were displaced, and dozens of buildings were "devitalized", to sell 
lofts at retail price of 4 000 EUR/m2. The current owner, a subsidiary 
of Lehman Brothers, is now bankrupted in the wake of the subprimes 
crisis : These hundreds of homes are likely to remain uninhabitable for 
years unless local authorities decide a requisition for social housing. 
And the fact that Europe has appointed Marseilles as European cultural 
capital in 2013 is a bad news for housing. Every international event, 
ever cultural or sporting, has unleashed speculation and attacks against 
residents of working class neighborhoods all over the world.

Stop pushing an increasing proportion of the population in the streets, 
insecurity, debt, and encouraging the urban segregation with violent 
consequences - present and future- ! We reclaim the end of evictions, of 
policies of gentrification, of urban and social cleansing of the working 
class neighborhoods and the restoration or enforcement of policies 
regulating rents and protecting tenants'rights.

To finance an effective right to housing for all, we reclaim a taxation 
of real estate profits at European level, and the European Central Bank 
watchdogging the inflation of housing prices and rents.

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