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    Decommodifying housing, deprivatising the home : a study of the emergence of self-managed cooperative housing in the city of Barcelona

    Leyva del Rio, Santiago (2021) Decommodifying housing, deprivatising the home : a study of the emergence of self-managed cooperative housing in the city of Barcelona. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This research unravels the inequalities and exclusions embedded in a system of social reproduction based on the mutually reinforcing relationship between home ownership and family responsibility while seeking an alternative to this in a cooperative housing model recently developed in Barcelona. My study is the fruit of 9 months of qualitative fieldwork studying the “grant of use model,” a form of self-managed cooperative housing without antecedents in Spain that separates use from ownership, decommodifies housing and collectivises social reproduction. I argue that social reproduction under neoliberalism relies on a double process of privatisation based on household financialisation and the offloading of reproductive responsibilities from the state onto the family. In Spain, where family and home ownership are two historical pillars of welfare, this process has been particularly pervasive. A deeply embedded ideology of home ownership combined with neoliberal ideas such as “asset-based welfare” and policy regimes such as “privatised Keynesianism” have financialised social reproduction in and through homes. In a context of wage erosion, austerity, unemployment/underemployment and mortgage tightening measures, access to housing assets is increasingly reliant on the particularistic logic of family solidarity. This widens the gap between the asset-rich and the asset-poor, homeowners and tenants, and those who are supported by their families and those who are not. I explore the potentials and limitations of a form of housing that departs from the dyad: home ownership-family. The grant of use model is grounded in long-term leases of public land and self-management. Its goal is not only to produce decommodified, good quality housing but also self-organised communities. In analysing how social reproduction is collectivised, I found that self-organisation produces both caring communities and spaces which catalyse solidaristic practices beyond the family. However, I also point to the institutional, material and cultural constraints of this model in becoming an alternative to home ownership and private rent. The conclusion here is that although this model has immense prefigurative potential, currently, the scarcity of public land, the initial fees to access these projects, and its time-consuming nature are barriers to expanding this model while democratising access.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2022 18:34
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:23


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