DOI: 10.4324/9781003160984-5
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Housing commons as a degrowth planning practice

Federico Savini,Daan Bossuyt

Political science
From a degrowth perspective, housing is not a commodity but an essential social good. Through commoning, housing creates spaces of living with physical, social and ecological dimensions that are free from market competition. Yet, in current economic systems, housing commons are permanently threatened by market co-optation or marginalisation. Under these conditions, the issue of how autonomy in housing provision can be maintained becomes crucial. The chapter addresses this challenge by exploring the institutional architecture of a housing cooperative built upon degrowth ideals. It develops an analytical compass of four rights, which underlie a collective, self-managed and democratic way of life: commissioning, management, inclusion and income rights. Even though these rights can be configured in any housing tenure or form, we contend that they institute autonomous housing only when they are ‘collectivised’ – that is, when the property regime is dispersed and disputable. We show how these rights are articulated in practice by looking at a concrete case of a housing cooperative in Amsterdam: de Nieuwe Meent.

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