Round up of recent housing battles in other countries.
Greece. Feb 16 2019
From ThemaNew.com. Feb 16
From an article in the Daily Telegraph, it is reported that there are a large number of evictions in Athens as the government offers a ‘golden visa’ incentive to foreign AirBnB investors.
Foreign investors invest at least 250,000 euros in property in the capital of Greece, throw out tenants and then rent the homes out on AirBnB. The investors then get EU residency rights.
The Telegraph article states that rents are increasing by about 200 to 300 euros in areas where AirBnB is booming.
Germany. 8 April 2019
Berliners Demonstrate Against ‘Rent Sharks’In Fight Over Rising Costs. 8 April 2019
Protestors marched through Berlin on 8 April demanding that the local government ‘seize’ 250,000 homes from the corporations which own them.
“These are companies that are coming in and seeing a really profitable market,” Thomas McGath, a spokesperson for the group that organized the campaign, told NPR. “It’s not your normal mom and pop landlord.”
Under German law, NPR says, the plan technically could happen.
Article 15 of the German Constitution states that “land, natural resources and means of production may, for the purpose of nationalisation, be transferred to public ownership.”
As reported by NPR:
Paris. 12 May 2019
100 DAY OCCUPATION OF SCHOOL AT 18 RUE ROQUÉPINE, PARIS
Since January 30, about 250 families have occupied a gym in the city of Paris at 18 rue Roquépine, near the Elysee Palace according to ‘Right to Housing (DAL).’
Dozens of families and people there are homeless, only 2 have been housed since the start of the action. The others are poorly housed or threatened with eviction.
DAL says that Presidents Macron pledged on 31 December 2017 that every homeless person would have a roof.
DAL says that the children have sent a letter and drawings to the Elysee Palace in February. No response yet
15 May. A STOP ON EVICTIONS IN GRENOBLE: A VICTORY FOR THE SOCIAL MOVEMENT
The Grenoble Council voted for an an anti eviction order 15 May forcing the regional authorities to suspend evictions of renters from April 1st.
This anti eviction order is said to the first in France. As the campaigning group ‘Right to Housing’ said in their report:
“Hundreds of families threatened with eviction in Grenoble will therefore be able to sleep peacefully, without fear of being awakened in the early morning by evictors.’
Portugal. 4 June 2019
Stop Evictions movement in Lisbon:
A local news outlet reported that some 50 people protested outside the Ministry of Housing. They were demanding the temporary suspension of all evictions. They also demanded “decent and adequate housing alternatives.”
It was reported that: “In the context of the protest action, the citizens, who are are facing eviction, put up posters with messages such as “Housing for all”, “There is a housing crisis”, “Evictions without solution no!”, “Regulate rents” and “Against the financialization of the real estate market”.
The protestors criticized “neoliberal solutions” such as affordable rents saying that the “are not at all accessible to the average salaries of those who live and work in Portugal”, since rents are defined at 80% of the market value.”
Spain. Evictions in the first quarter of 2019. June 11
Grim reading from PAH, the famous Spanish social movement against evictions of home owners who fell victim to the crash in house prices and unemployment after the 2008 crash.
PAH reports that in the first quarter of 2019 there were 15, 559 evictions in Spain.
65.9% were due to the speculative bubble in rented homes and rapidly rising rents. PAH says this does not include the so called ‘silent evictions’ were people are just forced to leave their homes due to rent rises. 27.9% were due to mortgage foreclosures.