Benevolent Evictions and Cooperative Housing Models in Post-Ondoy Manila
Maria Khristine Alvarez
Published in Issue 1.1 // The Long Read
Keywords: Flooding; resilience; eviction; participation; Manila
In this paper, I forward the concept of benevolent evictions to describe a new mode of dispossession, whereby expulsions from the urban core to the periphery are facilitated through the deployment of benevolence as a technology of eviction. Drawing on the experience of a community association in Pasig City, a part of Metro Manila in the Philippines, I examine how benevolent evictions, as materialized in The People’s Plan, reconfigured community participation and activist contestations. I distill the politics of participation by troubling practices of inclusion in housing affairs and exclusion in flood control matters; and critically assess the implications of non-transgressive co-production models on organizing for housing justice. While democratizing housing solutions did not necessarily result in the democratization of participation, I argue that the contradictions that emerge present radical possibilities for rewriting the politics of participation toward the transformation of slum-state and citizen-state relations.