April 11, 2019: Leilani Farha: The Financialization of Housing
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.