Reporting from Greece

Tonia Katerini for Stop Auctions Athens

Published in Issue 2.1 // Updates

Keywords: loans, debts, auctions, social housing, empty buildings, airbnb, hidden homelessness

Abstract:

Greece is now at the forefront of a new housing crisis because the mechanisms of housing acquisition through the market are no longer functioning. This has been exacerbated by austerity measures put in place after the last crisis, in 2008. There are three main problems in this moment: large numbers of indebted people who are in danger of losing their homes, the increasing cost of rents because of the spread of Airbnb, and the lack of policies for social housing. The movement for the right to housing has been fighting for the last six years to protect indebted families from losing their houses through auctions that are taking place every week. Over the last two years, the movement has increasingly fought against Airbnb’s control of the rental market and for the protection of the tenants’ rights. We have also put on the agenda the need to repurpose the thousands of empty buildings that exist in Greece for social housing.

Our organization, Stop Auctions, was formed in 2013 to confront changes to property law that allowed for the seizure and auction of the homes of indebted people. Now we are part of a bigger coalition formed in 2017 called the “joint initiative against Auctions”. We are members of the European Action Coalition for the Right to Housing and the City.

Download PDF