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COVID-19 and the Right to Housing: Reimagining housing as a human right during the pandemic and beyond - Shared screen with speaker view
Ava Rose Hoffman (she/her)
Hi, all! We will get started in just a few moments
Oren Yiftachel
Ava - can you tell us the order of the next speakers? thanks
Ava Rose Hoffman (she/her)
Prof. Rolnik next but she does not seem to be online, followed by Prof. Roy, Prof. Steil, Prof. Yiftachel. Raj will then deliver comments before the next round which will proceed in the same order.
Ava Rose Hoffman (she/her)
Folks tuning in, please feel free to send questions in the chat, which will be addressed during the Q&A session.
Osamu Kumasaka (he/him)
Next:EngleRolnikRoySteilYiftachelRaj responds
Osamu Kumasaka (he/him)
Attendees, thank you for joining us today! Please post your questions for the Q & A here in the chat. We will turn to those in 15-20 minutes.
Raquel Rolnik
sorry my internet connection dropped
Raquel Rolnik
but I was almost at the end of my intervention
Huma Gupta
Thank you so much to all the organizers, panelists, and Prof. Rajagopal for discussing and commenting on this excellent report. What advice and specific recommendations do the panelists have for housing justice activists and organizers working in Cambridge and the greater Boston area right now who are trying to use the political momentum of this moment to shut down housing courts, cancel rent (and back rent), organize tenants unions, shelter homeless residents in hotels during the pandemic, and ultimately push for the expropriation and transformation of public property (especially vacant and abandoned units) into permanent housing units? Despite organizing tens of protests, direct actions, raising awareness among tenants and organizing buildings, and putting pressure on local and state government officials over the past six months, local organizers like me are struggling to get any of these policies passed in an allegedly progressive state like Massachusetts and wealthy cities like Cambridge/Boston.
Ava Rose Hoffman (she/her)
Prof. Rajagopal’s presentation to the UN General Assembly can be viewed here: https://bit.ly/3jIEXi8 (presentation begins around 45:00)
Gunnar Theissen
Greetings from OHCHR in Geneva and thanks to all for this excellent discussion. You can find the report of Raj in all UN languages at: www.undocs.org/A/75/148
Rohit Lahoti
I am from Mumbai. My question is to what extent can the local policies really shift towards better housing when referring the UN rapporteur's report? Often the micro contexts are so different, there is lesser relatability by community organisations and civil society since a tonne of change is a function of local politics.
Tim Peake
Insightful set of views. Wondered where people felt we are in widening out such thinking into shared policy initiatives that will find traction in the face of a likely repressive reaction by states to increased civic unrest as support measures are withdrawn?
Raquel Rolnik
ok to stay 10 minutes
Gabriel Fauveaud
Thanks to all panelists for your interventions and for the rich discussions you brought in. One of the discussion I would like to bring forward is the issue of the effects of what some academic and others have identified as the « return of the State » generated and accentuated by the urgency of managing the pandemic. How do you expect global politics of housing (transnational civil societies organization, international organizations and so on) to be affected or challenged by this « return of the State »?
Huma Gupta
Thank you so much for your advice. We recently cited Dr. Rajagopal’s recommendations from this report at a Cambridge City Hall housing meeting, so shaming a strategy is definitely something that we will keep pushing for. As for Prof. Steil’s comments on building alliances within the legislature, we were able to build broadband support for the Guaranteed Housing Stability Act this summer and it was widely endorsed by legislators and a broad-based coalition of housing justice groups, but it was stalled and never even came to a vote after months of work. Of course, we have to keep on working, but it is quite discouraging when despite having the support, we weren’t able to get this bill passed.
Alexandra Tarzikhan
Thank you!
Gabriel Fauveaud
Ava Rose Hoffman (she/her)
Thank you all for joining! The recording of this session will be posted to the MIT Displacement Research and Action Network Facebook page
Jose Carlos Fernandez
thank you for organizing
Vijaya Tamla
Thank you!