GROUND/SHIFT: BUILDING NEW MODELS FOR ALTERNATIVE HOUSING
A Transatlantic Roundtable, December 2016 - NYC
For four years, our Right to the City Roundtables have provided an opportunity for housing activists from Europe and North America to meet, debate and share strategies on creating policies and collaborations that ensure fair, equitable cities for all.
Coming off of last year’s successful gathering in Berlin, this year’s roundtable in New York City will continue the focus on building alternative housing models. As the global population is turning more urban and major city centers are seen as bastions of educational, economic and cultural possibilities, access to affordable, quality housing is a necessity and should be seen as a human right.
As we can see by the housing bust of 2008, as well as the continued rise in rents on both sides of the Atlantic, the issue of housing has reached crisis proportions. The major reason behind the lack of affordable housing lies in the dominant narrative of market-based approaches, which lead to attacks on existing rent regulations, the promotion of gentrification and individual ownership, and the continued privatization of housing stock.
In face of this, housing activists and advocates have engaged in radical experiments to organize communities and build long-term alternatives that stress alternative ownership models, such as collective ownership, and the transfer of property from private corporations to the commons. The use of community land trusts (CLTs) and cooperatives have not only resulted in affordability, but increased racial and economic diversity of communities, and spoken clearly to the call of a “right to the city.”
This year’s gathering will focus on these experiments by looking at best practices on both sides of the Atlantic. Participants will ask: How can we achieve scale in which our models serve and meet the needs of a significant portion of the population? Can we shift the emphasis from individual to collective ownership? And how do the models ensure economic as well as racial justice?
The roundtable is co-organized by the Right to the City Alliance USA and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung—New York Office.
Between the late 1940s and the 1990s, movements for independence, decolonization, and Black Power emerged and flourished. While these movements altered the terrain of the global south, they had a profound echo effect on the culture, politics, and artistic expression of the global north. In Europe, support committees for Black political prisoners, anti-Apartheid actions as well as the Black Panthers provided “hot flashes” during the Cold War. Across social......
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