Uniting the "I" and the "We" Affordable Housing in Perpetuity
From: Resilience Imperative
The unprecedented financial, economic, and social fallout from the credit crunch presents governments with a structural set of problems when it comes to housing. A steep decline in prices in many countries since 2008 has led to widespread levels of negative equity, which means people owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. Repossessions and evictions lead to depressed markets and abandoned properties in many countries. The situation is exacerbated by real estate investment compa-nies’ speculative purchases for “rack-renting,” leading to what is being called in the UK “Generation Rent” — younger households with no real-istic chance to buy a home, but whose rent levels are exorbitant and often extortionate.
At 25, Mike Lewis founded what is now known as the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal. Ever since he has been engaged community economic development (CED), development finance and the social and co-operative economy. He is a prolific author and a respected practitioner. From entrepreneurial development to building national networks, from strategic assistance to CED organizations in impoverished settings to designing tools and curriculum to strengthen community resilience, Mike has led hundreds of projects over the last 35 years. Drawing on this diverse experience, motivated by his grandchildren and increasingly conscious of the interplay of climate change, peak oil and the outrageous excesses of the global finance industry, Mike considers the issues and innovations outlined in ‘The Resilience Imperative’ as the core focus of his vocation.
Pat Conaty is a Californian working in England and Wales. He is a Fellow of new economics foundation and a research associate of Co-operatives UK. He specializes in action research on innovative forms of economic democracy and mutual enterprise. His work has been mainly in the fields of household debt solutions, community development finance and community land trusts.