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From Crisis to Horizon: Fighting for Social Housing

03/30 Thursday | 5:30pm

Elected officials, organizers, scholars will discuss efforts toward social housing. Organized by the Urban Democracy Lab at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study

Thursday 3/30: Vanderbilt Hall Room 220, 40 Washington Square South (There will be an option to attend through Zoom, which you can select upon registration.)

Friday 3/31: Jerry Jerry H. Labowitz Theatre for the Performing Arts, 1 Washington Place

There is a growing, nationwide housing crisis. In the last few years, the discussion among housing movements has moved from a critique of gentrification, displacement, and other manifestations of that crisis to a search for an alternative vision. That vision requires creating housing whose production, distribution, and management is guided by deeply democratic principles, a logic of intentional inclusion, and an ethos of care and environmental stewardship.

There are at least a dozen local and state campaigns for social housing around the US today, and an active discussion about federal action for social housing.

In the United States, even before the pandemic, one in four renters were already paying half their income to rent and most low-income families had unaffordable housing costs. Globally, there is a shortage of affordable, adequate housing in rich and poor countries, with nearly a billion people today living in precarious, overcrowded housing. Organizing for social housing is emerging from unions, Black Lives Matter and abolition organizations, tenant and debtors’ unions of all stripes, houseless social movements and community organizations. Also, housing is central to any proposal for decarbonization, and housing (and social housing in particular) is one of the pillars of the Green New Deal.

Re-imagining social housing, and making our imaginings reality, is essential—in both the US and around the world. Our convening will explore issues with our existing market-based housing models, what constitutes social housing, and myriad efforts to win it.


DAY 1 (3/30)

5:30 PM – 6:50 PM | Panel 1: Defending Tenants Amid the US Housing Crisis

7:10 PM – 8:30 PM | – Panel 2: Building Towards Social Housing in NY

DAY 2 (3/31)

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM | Panel 1: National and Regional Campaigns Toward Social Housing

3:50 PM – 4:35 PM | Panel 2: International and Historical Experiences

4:35 PM – 5:30 PM | Reception

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