CITY-OF-CARE calls for a deeper understanding of the Financialization of Social Housing (FSH) and the constriction of state-sponsored social welfare and housing affordability programs that underlies the inequities produced by property investment.

Housing Financialization

The 2017 UN’s special rapporteur for housing sets out how unregulated global capital not only rapidly distorts real estate markets, but also disconnects housing from its social function of providing a place to live in security and dignity. Housing is a basic human right and a central element of current financialization processes, defined as the increasing dominance of financial actors, markets, practices, measurements, and narratives, at various scales, resulting in a structural transformation of economies, firms (including financial institutions), states, and households.

Social Capital

Post-crisis societies witness the resurgence of a transformational conception of politics, based on relations of equality and solidarity emerging from community social capital. They explain the benefits that people can accrue when interacting and working together in social networks. Networks are formed when people share common cognitive attributes, such as norms and trust that help them to organize and prioritize their relationships with others. Social capital has been linked to positive macro and micro-level outcomes: economic growth and development, democracy, better quality governance, less crime, health, subjective well-being or life satisfaction, educational achievement, finding jobs, and child welfare.

CITY-OF-CARE explores the dynamics of women’s caring networks for mutual aid which develop between multigenerational households in disadvantaged urban communities against the inequities of housing financialization

Housing is a women’s matter. Theirs responsibilities go beyond home making and child rearing, from finding an apartment, to managing to maintain housing costs and other household expenses, to preventing displacement. Especially in the context of social housing, apartments are often in a woman’s name, irrespective of whether or not a man is present. Housing is the intersection of community, locality, and domesticity, and it best exemplifies women’s interests in linking place and politics. Indeed, women’s informalisation of labor, assistance and organizing is a very common practice in these communities, and one in which women have an active part. Gender and other sources of marginalization and inequality shape how women experience social housing communities under the threat of privatization and residualization. Yet they are not fully taken into consideration by policymakers. CITY-OF-CARE suggests alternatives to housing policies that merely seeks to provide a roof over people’s heads, to give explicit attention to gender equality.