Housing as a fundamental right – housing that is good for people, according to their own identification, safe, within people's means allowing to meet other basic needs, and also within a community (where people are from) is a right.
Financialisation – as a process which leads to an accrual of capital and earnings at the very top of the economic ladder, yet with a stagnation or decline throughout the rest of the ladder. Financialisation is a process dependent upon political choices – it doesn't just happen through some sort of “silent hand” of the market, yet exists very much as a set of policy choices – including restraint of new capital and social spending (leaving housing to a deregulated market, instead of some sort of State-led process).
Financialisation leads to increasing precarity for workers on two levels:
But this “financialisation of housing” also leads to wild price swings in housing costs and larger long-term economic instability. Apart from erosion of housing affordability, it also leads to overly leveraged banks and high levels of household debt. States feel compelled to bail out banks when property prices come crashing down – yet States themselves fostered this situation by abandoning: 1) a commitment to provide housing, and 2) deregulation of financial markets,
which created so much liquidity (that feeds into rising property prices).
Additionally, as governments (particularly on a local and municipal level) themselves have appropriated a neoliberal logic of housing as an asset (versus a social right), they’ve also become dependent upon developers for increasingly scarce funding – so development and the politics of the use of the city and land space have become developer, as opposed to State, led. A logic of “partnership” with developers has flowed from this, instead of viewing people’s rights as paramount above private interests.
A comparative study of the effects of financialisation on housing rights, across countries, but also on a more local level, with a focus on municipalities but this could even involve specific neighbourhoods.
Practically, what might this look like:
To be determined