Tracing the financialisation of social housing


Tracing the financialisation of social housing
Practices of displacement and dispossession by global corporate landlords

Presentation held at the workshop “Struggles over ‘home’ in a time of crisis”, University of Leeds, December 13th, 2016.

Michael Janoschka, UAF for Critical Urban Transformations, University of Leeds
Sonia Vives, Post-doctoral researcher, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela and Lund University
Georgia Alexandri, Post-doctoral researcher, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Hernán Orozco, Postgraduate researcher, Universidad de Chile

Key words: Social housing, financialisation, displacement, expulsion, abandonment

Nearly a decade after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, and the concomitant mortgage crisis in Spain, it has now become evident that real estate in the city region of Madrid has become a globally traded product. State and EU-induced economic and financial restructuring has facilitated several novel financial mechanisms regarding the real estate management. Amongst others, bank bailouts, the creation of a bad bank (Sareb), specific vehicles such as REITs (so-called Socimi), and mortgage securitisation are crucial ingredients of a strategy that aims at attracting transnational financial capital into a deeply devaluated local market. One of the most violent acts has been the privatization of more than 3,000 public housing units, equivalent to nearly 20 per cent of the entire stock of public housing in the metropolitan area, to global corporate landlords. Investment was leaded amongst others by a local branch of the Blackstone hedge fund, and buildings were sold far below market prices. The change in homeownership has signified a strong socio-spatial restructuring at the micro-scale of the neighbourhood, which we will trace in this contribution. While investors wait for major profits and use the housing stock as a guarantee for further purchases and credits, social housing tenants have been directly (read: process of economic displacement by rent increases) or indirectly (read: process of social displacement by building deterioration) displaced from their homes. Such enforced abandonment generates new modes of displacement in favour of faster capital circulation in the built environment. By focusing on the processes of dispossession and displacement, this paper offers new insights over the way spatial accumulation and neoliberal politics determinate the lived experience of housing financialisation exercised by global corporate landlords.

Tracing the financialisation of social housing - ppt