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Housing


Why is housing so expensive, whether to buy or rent? Why are people forced to pay when “the right to housing is a human right.” With limited financial means, it’s hard to find affordable, good-quality housing. (https://www.humanrights.ch/fr/nouvelles/droit-humain-logement)

In the cities, prices have skyrocketed. They have become inaccessible to part of the population. And the countryside is emptying out because there are no public services or means of subsistence (no jobs). (Map of average prices per m² per municipality for house and apartment sales in 2020: https://www.data.gouv.fr/fr/reuses/carte-des-prix-moyens-au-m2-par-commune-des-ventes-de-maisons-et-dappartements-en-2020/) Yet property owners and sellers don’t produce wealth. They collect it from others. Employers have to raise wages to keep up with housing costs. In order to pay, employees have to cut back on other expenses , even though they are the ones producing the wealth. The number of meals served at the “restos du coeur” is exploding, as are requests for social housing.

The state’s response is to pay ever more to build housing, and governments all over the world are defiscalising housing production to implore homeowners to build more. These owners are the ones who pay the lowest taxes. Real estate is the goose that lays the golden egg for property owners, and a financial drain on the rest of us, who pay twice. What’s more, as people are forced to live further and further away from their place of work, this creates fatigue and pollution, as well as additional costs due to fuel prices. And in exchange, people are living in housing that is in poor condition, too small and built of concrete with no soundproofing. These buildings are rapidly falling into disrepair and they pollute. They’re not built for the well-being of living, but to maximize profits.

In the same way as in the food sector, we need to stop subsidizing local residents so that they can then pay the subsidies directly to the owners. That’s like giving public money to landlords! We need to control prices to house people. In the 70s, in the West, people paid off their homes in 10 years. We also need to restore efficient public services throughout the country: roads, hospitals, police, swimming pools, schools and so on. Last but not least, there must be farmers in the countryside. Before the Second World War, 40% of the population worked on farms. We need to stop using machines and chemicals to compensate for labor that could be used in the fields. We need fair purchase prices for farmers using organic permaculture. In all industrialized countries, farmers employ illegal immigrants under very poor conditions in order to cope.

We need a universal basic income. Today, without work there is no sustenance and no dignity. We have regulations that create “bullshit jobs”, as David Graeber puts it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit_Jobs). People are forced to live in the city. Instead, we need people in the countryside to create healthy food, which is also a human right (https://www.humanrights.ch/fr/pfi/fondamentaux/en-bref/couverture-minimum-vital/droit-a-lalimentation/). In wartime, when the men were soldiers, the country ran on the labor of women and the elderly. With robotization, there’s even less need for manpower. (In Praise of Idleness – Bertrand Russell: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Praise_of_Idleness_and_Other_Essays). We need to redistribute wealth instead of concentrating it in the hands of the richest.

Le combat d’une lanceuse d’alerte contre les dérives de la défiscalisation locative – Le Monde: https://www.lemonde.fr/police-justice/article/2019/02/12/le-combat-d-une-lanceuse-d-alerte-contre-les-derives-de-la-defiscalisation-locative_5422456_1653578.html

Crise du logement – Le Devoir: https://www.ledevoir.com/crise-du-logement

POINT DE VUE. « L’avenir des villes dépend de plus en plus de l’avenir des campagnes »– Ouest France: https://www.ouest-france.fr/reflexion/point-de-vue/point-de-vue-lavenir-des-villes-depend-de-plus-en-plus-de-lavenir-des-campagnes-5f7cff50-7d93-11ee-9e40-5131acac1bc0