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Alternative Radio

From Seat­tle to Toron­to, the cost of own­ing a home is soar­ing. Rents are no bet­ter. Accel­er­at­ed by neolib­er­al eco­nom­ic doc­trine a par­a­digm shift in hous­ing has occurred in recent years. There is a grow­ing dis­con­nect between hous­ing as a human right and hous­ing as a finan­cial vehi­cle for invest­ment. We’ve come a long way from FDR’s remark­able 1944 State of the Union address where he advo­cat­ed for, The right of every fam­i­ly to a decent home.” Today, hous­ing is viewed by the glob­al investor class as a com­mod­i­ty to be bought and sold in mar­kets, a repos­i­to­ry for cap­i­tal and a means of accu­mu­lat­ing wealth. Finan­cial­iza­tion of hous­ing caus­es gen­tri­fi­ca­tion, under­mines com­mu­ni­ty, exac­er­bates inequal­i­ty and con­tributes to the dis­grace of home­less­ness. We need to devel­op and encour­age pol­i­tics that not only restores hous­ing as a uni­ver­sal human right but to make it afford­able as well.