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Højkommisær for human rights: Housing is not a commodity

Not only housing in Copenhagen is just now being acquired by Blackstone. In Spain, it has been going on since the financial crisis, and in Sweden is Blackstone the largest owner of rental housing.

Therefore Leilani Farha, the UN rapporteur for the right to housing, started the movement Shift, which on a global level to make it a human right to have access to a reasonable accommodation, there is to pay.

At a meeting in New York last year, she received the mayors from all over the world, including Barcelona, Berlin and New York to sign a letter of intent and support of the movement.

Leilani Farha believes that access to affordable housing is one of the world's biggest problems. Photo: WG Film

- the Right to a fair housing means that it must be to pay. When Blackstone buy properties in a city like Copenhagen, we know with certainty, that it is to raise housing prices, not just a little, but much. The money from the high rents ensure their milliardlån, she says to Ekstra Bladet.

According to her will be the housing now used as a commodity in the financial sector.

- unlike gold, housing is not a commodity but a human right. It needs governments to make sure by ensuring that there is housing for a reasonable price.

According to Leilani Farha, housing is now the world's largest commodity, with a value of 163 trillion dollars. It is three times larger than the world's total brutonationalprodukt.

On Saturday, there is its world premiere in Copenhagen on the documentary 'Push' by Frederik Gertten, follows Leilani Farhas travel around to various places where Blackstone has bought up properties. Monday, housing minister Ole Birk Olesen together with other Danish politicians and Malmö mayor, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, watch the film and discuss the topic.

at the same time, there is arranged a demonstration by residents in The south Jutland Town, which has just been acquired by Blackstone. Jette Løvdahl, who arranged the demonstration, said:

- We do it to show that we do not give up. Blackstone must be stopped now.

Jette Løvdahl to a residents meeting about the sale to Blackstone.

Just demonstrations and attention is exactly what Lailani Fahra hoping for with the film.

- In Denmark and Sweden have had their eyes opened to it pretty quickly, but in other places such as Spain Blackstone since the financial crisis bought the cheap housing. So, first and foremost, it is important that there will be attention on it, so the cities start to push back, she says.

What concrete effect the Shift will have on the copenhagen lejemarked, Leilani Farha not say, for it is up to the legislators. But if the f.ex. a mayor sign a letter of intent, it sends a strong signal, she thinks.

- It is important to have mayors with, for the purchase of housing is a very critical problem in the cities right now. Although people can no longer afford to stay in their housing, then they must have a right to be in their home. It is not because they have to stay there for free, but it should not be possible, that the landlord can get people to move out, she says.

the Problem with Blackstones acquisition is that it does not look dangerous or bad, because it's just empty homes, believes Leilana Fahra.

Ekstra Bladet have in several ways tried to get a comment from Blackstone. But not even the UN rapporteur has had the luck to get them in the speech.

- I have tried to meet with Blackstone in over a year, but they have not yet said yes. I hope that the film will provoke them to a conversation about how big an influence they have on citizens around the world.

Amsterdam has recently introduced a ceiling on the prices of newly built properties and put a stop to private rentals of public housing. Berlin has also introduced a raft of austerity measures and also put a stop to renting via Airbnb.

Blackstones headquarters in New York.

Tuesday was Copenhagen's mayor, Frank Jensen, to open a corner of the town hall. In this context, tried Extra Leaf to get overborgmesterens view of Blackstones acquisitions in Copenhagen.

Frank Jensen (S) inspect 'The Bastion' on the isle of Amager, where there is built 1000 homes.

the lord Mayor stated that he is greatly preoccupied with getting stopped Blackstones fuprenoveringer.

- I'm super glad to set up a fast-working committee under the american, who must make presale for how to stop the speculation, which in popular terms is bogus renovations, and that leads to rent increases. I am strongly concerned that we get stopped, says Frank Jensen.

the Copenhagen technology and environment mayor, Nina Hedeager Olsen, regret over the limited options, as the management has to fuprenoveringer.

- I know that Blackstone does not have any interest in the properties in the longer term, for they are not against the large subsidies which the municipality provides for the renovation of rental housing. With the grant, they must keep the rents down, and it is, they're not interested in, she says.

Nina Hedeager Olsen dedicate the new bridge Alfred Nobel the Bridge that connects Enghave Brygge in copenhagen with Teglholmen in the south Harbour.

She agree that it must be a right to have access to housing. She will now present it to the Unity group with a view to making it as a proposal to the municipal council.

- Blackstones acquisition is clearly to squeeze them with low incomes out of the city, and therefore, I think, certainly, that the intention is quite real, she says.

List of cities, who has signed the pledge









Buenos Aires




Rio Grande

San Antonio de Areco











Mexico City




New Taipei

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