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Housing affordability and the 'unlivable city'

Housing Europe co-hosts 'PUSH' film screening in Brussels

Brussels, 20 February 2020 | Published in Urban

To mark the World Day of Social Justice, the United Nations, the Swedish Embassy, RBDH, Feantsa and Housing Europe jointly held in Brussels a screening of 'Push'.

PUSH is the impactful documentary from award-winning director Fredrik Gertten, investigating through the journey of UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha, why we can’t afford to live in our own cities anymore. Housing is a fundamental human right, a precondition to a safe and healthy life. But in cities all around the world, having a place to live is becoming more and more difficult. Who are the players and what are the factors that make housing one of today’s most pressing world issues?

The film was followed by a panel discussion, featuring Housing Europe Secretary General, Sorcha Edwards, Ruth Owen, Deputy Director of FEANTSA, Anne-Sophie Dupont, Project Manager of RBDH, Frédéric J. Saliez, Deputy Chief of UN-Habitat Office. The discussion was moderated by Carlos Jimenez of UNRIC.

Sorcha kicked off the debate after the screening stressing how difficult the everyday battle is to fight against financialization of housing, calling for protection of public, cooperative and social housing systems that have been resilient for over a century. "Affordability means something different in different environments. It's a global housing crisis we have to combat locally, building the right buffers", said Sorcha responding to a question from the audience during the Q & A. Our Secretary General concluded her intervention highlighting that a truly positive message from the film is the knowledge that experts like Saskia Sassen share with us. This can guide our actions, according to Sorcha. [We were privileged to have Saskia as keynote speaker of our 2019 international conference 'This Land is whose Land', find out more here].