Via Globalinfo A series of Saturday afternoon meetings, the 1st of which will take place on Saturday 2 March at d'Oude Stad (Kerkstraat 123 Amsterdam) from 2-5 pm.
According to the Belgian psychologist Paul Verhaege, we are becoming massive disturbed and depressedof neoliberal society and economy.
This certainly applies to the concerns that people today have when it comes to housing. To the extent that one can still gain access to that 'market', the price to be paid for it becomes so high that your entire income is consumed. You often lose your house if you get sick or lose your job. Those who can rent – for increasingly higher prices – are increasingly able to do so only with temporary contracts and other precarious circumstances.
In addition, the financialization of the housing market is reaching unprecedented proportions. Investment companies and foreign hedge funds are buying homes en masse to speculate or drive up rents as high as possible. This process is fueled by an excess of cheap credit available to them.
Politicians and real estate guys tell the concerned citizen that there is no other way and that everyone should be happy with the debris that is still thrown at them. But of course it is all not a natural phenomenon, but the result of political and economic (mis)policy. In order to be able to understand this, and to be able to argue substantiated for alternatives, we must gather knowledge and information and share it with each other.
A first meeting to do this is on Saturday 2 March, in the new space of Wijkcentrum d'Oude Stadt in Amsterdam (Kerkstraat 123, website).
The guest will be the financial geographer Rodrigo Fernandez, who works at the research project “the real estate/financial complex” (REFCOM) at the University of Leuven. He will explain exactly what financialization is and why the phenomenon is important.
In addition, we will discuss specific 'hot spots' in the city where financialization strikes, the most current example being the campaign against the sale of social housing by Ymere in the Stadionbuurt. But we also look for the 'political economy' behind the eviction of the ADM site, the threat to the Lutkemeerpolder, the commotion about the Tolhuistuin complex, and the specific forms of gentrification that are taking place in all neighbourhoods. As a third part of the series of meetings, we also discuss actions and alternatives, such as the proposal to join the international day of action 'Against Evictions and Rental Insanity' on April 6.
The meeting is Saturday 2 March from 2-5 pm, and is part of the 'globalhousingdebt' project on financialization and debts in housing. Entrance is free. For more information see the website: https://www.globalhousingdebt.org/nl/
(With the cooperation of Fair City, Wijkcentrum d'Oude Stadt and Bond Precaire Woonvorm)