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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know there is a housing crisis – and even if you have been, your rent has probably gone up. Despite house prices having fallen slightly as a result of diminished consumer confidence, housing continues to devour outrageous amounts of income.

In the UK and elsewhere, many poor, working-class and even some middle-class households experience housing as unaffordable, exploitative and precarious.

Housing has been a site of injustice for so long that it is easy to think this condition is permanent. But across the world, activists are reinvigorating housing politics.

Demands that have been marginalised are becoming mainstream. There appears to be a new level of awareness today that the residential is political. And there are some initial signs that the balance of power may finally be starting to shift away from landlords, developers and speculators, and towards tenants, activists and residents.

From community organisers to the United Nations, there is a growing momentum in housing politics. Grassroots organisations and tenants unions are being formed. Housing movements are gaining members and support. These efforts are beginning to have a real impact. Last month, following a tenacious campaign by activists, New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed a law strengthening rent regulation, bolstering protection against evictions and improving tenants’ rights.

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source: The Guardian
published: 3 July 2019

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