Opinion Piece on the Nature of Financialization
In chapter 2, we argued that an important aspect of financialization is that housing has become a financial asset that can be easily traded in financial markets for profit-seeking purposes, often detached from the social and lived value of housing as a source of shelter and social life. However, there are many different forms of financialization as well as alternative forms to providing housing. We encourage you, to explore this further and write an opinion piece of up to 1,200 words centred around one of the following two questions:
- Is it possible to distinguish between ‘evil’ and ‘benevolent’ forms of financialization when looking at the implications for inhabitants and society more broadly? You could, for example, select two different private actors providing housing in your region and discuss the – positive and negative – effects of these arrangements.
- Is the financialization of housing inevitable or can we do without it? You could, for example, search for housing providers that do not focus on making profits but rather focus on the social and lived value of housing (of course, the borders may be blurred…) and discuss to what extent such concepts may be promising and which barriers they may face.
For some inspiration on these questions, you can go back to chapter 2 of the textbook and in particular have a look at the different actors and housing arrangements we introduced in section 2.4. Concerning implications of financialization, you could also look at the website 'Cities for rent' or have a look at some opinion pieces published in The Economist. In addition, you can have a look at the 14th issue of 'Follow the Housing’ Newsletter which discussed various alternatives to traditional housing, the 1M homes initiative or the UK-based Good Homes Alliance.