Podcast: Precarious Housing in Europe (PUSH)

It was great fun to contribute to the podcast series of the Precarious Housing in Europe (PUSH) project. PUSH is a Strategic Partnership of seven European partners funded under the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Programme. The program focuses on providing a knowledge base on precarious housing in Europe and raising awareness of the issue. It describes its activities as follows:

Currently, academics and practitioners observe an increase in precarious housing conditions across Europe. Precarious housing refers to housing that is either unaffordable or unsuitable, for example, because it is overcrowded, in poor dwelling condition, unsafe or poorly located. Even though informal, illegal, or unsafe housing poses a threat to social inclusion, and hinders the mobility of citizens and the integration of third-country nationals, the issue has not been taken up systematically in curricula in higher education across Europe. While there is much literature on the strong link between employment and housing insecurity and abundant investigations in different aspects of precarious housing, hardly any attempt has been made so far to provide a consolidated overview of the whole topic and to thereby put these different facets into the joint perspective of housing-related poverty. Due to this lack, precarious and informal housing in Europe is largely perceived as anecdotal and limited to particular pockets of poverty rather than a systemic and growing phenomenon linked to more general economic inequality. Against this background, PusH aims to provide a solid knowledge base of the different elements of precarious housing in Europe and raise awareness of this issue. For this purpose, PusH is collecting evidence on this phenomenon and is creating accessible and engaging learning materials for students and practitioners across Europe. (https://mdl.donau-uni.ac.at/push/mod/page/view.php?id=26)

The podcast series has 11 episodes already and includes talks with e.g. Manuel Aalbers on financialization, Paul Watt on displacement and estate regeneration, Rikke Skovgaard Nielsen on the Danish Ghetto policy, and Nora Teller on informal housing in post-socialist cities. I contributed an episode focused on the question of what can be done about housing precarity and whether recent housing reforms in European and North-American cities like Berlin, Vienna, and New York, are promising developments in that regard, or not. I draw on a recent paper that I published with Lisa Vollmer and Sam Stein, in which we analyze housing reforms in these three cities and ask whether the reforms signal a shift towards a post-neoliberal housing policy agenda. You can read the paper here. The podcast is available here: https://mdl.donau-uni.ac.at/push/mod/hvp/view.php?id=168. The whole podcast series is available here: https://mdl.donau-uni.ac.at/push/mod/page/view.php?id=125