Two participants of Piso Piloto exhibition, Quaderns and Ada Colau, as founder member of La PAH, had a conversation some time ago, regarding the work that the platform has been doing since 2009 to confront the current law in order to find feasible solutions and legal ways to improve our current housing situation.
The Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca [La PAH], is a Spanish grassroots organization that campaigns for the right to a home, they have succeeded to process what we know as an ILP (a citizen initiative) to propose that government develop a new mortgage legislation. This ILP, backed with 1,402,845 signatures from citizens, proposes the regulation of three key aspects to guarantee housing rights. Due to all this work, in January 2013, the PAH was awarded the European Citizens’ Prize. This is a conversation published on Volume magazine #38 'The Shape of Law.'
As part of the conversation, some of the issues that were discussed are:
Quaderns: It is evident that there is no coherence between the overproduction of housing and the access to housing. Can you tell us why?
Ada Colau: We knew there was a housing bubble and that virtually the only way to have access to housing was through private property and therefore by becoming indebted. Despite this, the government still denied the bubble, and entrepreneurs and pundits continued to be invited by different media in order to defend their own position.
With this capitalist approach inherited from the Reagan-Thatcher era, everyone was intended to win. Everyone was able, by means of credit and mortgages, to have as much private property as they wished. But nobody established the difference between those who bought their house to live there and those who bought properties in order to speculate with them. This is what happened and it affected the working class people most.
Follow the link to read the whole interview: Re-righting Ownership