What is it like to lose your home in contemporary urban Europe? How are credit conditions and foreclosure processes affecting the population's right to dignified housing? How is the impossibility of buying a house for the young affecting family relations throughout Europe?
Throughout urban Europe, the rhythm of home foreclosure due to mortgage defaulting does not seem to have abated over the past few years. Furthermore, young people who remain unemployed or underemployed in large numbers are finding it impossible to achieve home ownership. This alters family relations, people's lifecycles, and people's sense of self-worth but it also corresponds to a general trend affecting the class composition of European society. Compounded with a sharp reduction in the quality of state support, this means that a large part of the population is experiencing a sharp reduction of their rights of citizenship. How do people deal with the impending loss of residence and the related class implications? How does this process of destabilization and dispossession affect people's relation to their future? What are the implications of the lack of a house of one's own for kinship networks, social life and personal dignity? How is credit inaccessibility affecting transgenerational property transfers? Recognised as a fundamental human right, the right to dignified housing is also established in most European constitutions and yet, throughout the Europe of austerity, this basic right is being systematically bypassed. People lose their houses most commonly because they lose their salaried work. Youth unemployment and underemployment, however, are here to stay. What is the impact of this process in people's position as citizens, as kinsmen, and on personal self-worth?
Housing as a livelihood strategy: gender, multi-generational households and financial interdependence