Covid-19 and housing struggles:
The (re)makings of austerity, disaster capitalism, and the no return to normal
The RHJ Editorial Collective
Keywords: austerity, precarity, homelessness, biopolitics, rent strike, covid-19, policy
Seemingly overnight, the use value of housing as a life-nurturing, safe place is at the center of political discourse, policy-making, and new governmentalities. The right to suitable and secure shelter has shifted from the “radical” margins to the object of unprecedented public policy interventions worldwide. Writing collectively from the relative privilege of our (often precarious) homes, we sketch out a space to reflect on the centrality of housing and home to the Covid-19 crisis, to disentangle the key nexus between housing, the aftermath of the 2008 crisis, austerity, and the current pandemic, and connect current responses to longer-term trajectories of dispossession and disposability, bordering, ethno-nationalism, financialization, imperialism, capitalism, patriarchy, and racism. We argue that much is to be learned from collective organizing and mutual aid in the context of previous moments of disaster capitalism.