WEBINAR: Urban Warfare: Housing Justice Under a Global Pandemic

Tuesday, April 14, 7:00pm9:00pm

The COVID-19 Pandemic has exposed how tenuous life is for working class and poor people in wealthy countries like the United States. As record numbers of people file for unemployment, we are likely to see a tidal wave of displacement. While the federal stimulus package favors corporate bailouts, tenants are demanding rent cancellation. Calls for rent strikes have grown throughout the country as tenants organize their buildings to collectively withhold payments. Unaffordable rents, a homelessness epidemic, and decaying public housing have long been the reality of American cities, and now as the economy goes into crisis, the battle over the future of land and housing has become more pitched than ever.

In her recent book Urban Warfare: Housing Under the Empire of Finance, Raquel Rolnik of the University of São Paulo, a former planning official in Brazil and former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, tells the story of how finance reoriented housing from a social policy objective to a business opportunity. Real estate has colonized the world, provoking mass displacement, poverty, and environmental destruction. While the profit-driven model of housing marches toward a new crisis, social movements all over the world are waging a common struggle for housing justice.

Join NYC-DSA, Verso Books, the Urban Democracy Lab, and others for a discussion of the origins and limits of this housing model in this time of crisis, and how working people can fight back to win decent housing and a liveable future for all. Dr. Rolnik will discuss these topics with Daniel Aldana-Cohen, co-author of A Planet to Win, Why We Need a Green New Deal and Director of the Socio-Spatial Climate Collaborative at the University of Pennsylvania, who will discuss why a Green Stimulus and a Green New Deal is necessary to overcome this crisis and how it can empower both housing and climate activists. With presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders supporting activist demands for a Homes Guarantee and a Green New Deal, Housing Justice for All campaign coordinator Cea Weaver will moderate a discussion on what it will take to achieve such transformational change.

This event will be held online via Zoom. Please register at the link.


New York University and Gallatin provide reasonable accommodations to people living with disabilities who wish to attend events at the School. For every event, Gallatin staff will be on hand to assist guests. Please note that the entrance at 715 Broadway is wheelchair accessible. To request accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter, assistive listening devices, or large print programs, or should you have questions regarding accessibility for an event, please contact Gallatin’s Office of Special Events by emailing events.gallatin@nyu.edu or by calling 212-992-6328. Should you need an accommodation, we ask that you send your request as early as possible so that we have time to fulfill your request.