Housing justice, mobilization, and financialization

A Conversation from the Antipode Institute for Geographies of Justice

Sonja Coquelin, Joanna Kusiak, Jaime Palomera and Samuel Stein in conversation with Rae Baker, Emanuele Belotti, Aysegul Can and Elsa Noterman

Published in Issue 4.2 // Conversations

Keywords: Expropriation, housing justice, financialization


In June 2022, a group of activists, students, and scholars gathered in Barcelona for the 8th annual International Geographies of Justice Summer Institute (IGJ), Housing Justice in Unequal Cities, co-sponsored by Antipode and the UCLA Institute on Inequality and Democracy. IGJ attendees included people from within movement and activist spaces, academics, and non-profit organizations who share the common vision of working toward housing justice. This article features a collective conversation that took place with IGJ attendees who participated in a public panel discussion attended by activists, community members, and people interested in hearing from local and international panelists about the state and direction of the housing justice movements in Glasgow, Berlin, New York, and Barcelona respectively. Thematically, the conversation held among IGJ attendees to produce the following manuscript focused on the broad and interconnected pillars of housing injustice that repeatedly arose in conversation throughout our time together in Barcelona, including financialization, activism and organizing, and housing justice movements broadly speaking.


Sonja Coquelin is a member and organizer with Living Rent, Scotland’s Tenants’ Union who focuses on mass-membership organization of low- and middle-income renters, fighting to win concrete improvements to the daily lives of renters.

Joanna Kusiak is a sociologist at the University of Cambridge and a Humboldt visiting fellow at Georg-Simmer-Center for Metropolitan Studies in Berlin. She is also an activist with Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen.

Jaime Palomera is a spokesperson and co-founder of the Barcelona Tenants Union, and a senior researcher and coordinator of the Housing Department at La Hidra – Urban Research Institute.

Samuel Stein is the author of Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State (2019), and works at the Community Service Society of New York.

Rae Baker is assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Cincinnati, in the Education and Community Action Research doctoral program.

Emanuele Belotti is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Architecture and Urban Studies, Politecnico di Milano (Milan, Italy).

Aysegul Can is a lecturer at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Istanbul Medeniyet University.

Elsa Noterman is a lecturer in the School of Geography and a fellow at the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences at Queen Mary University of London.

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