“Communities are built on land, and we — as human beings — get most of our food, fibers and materials from it...However, the very concept of land ownership is problematic...It suggests that the earth is essentially up for sale. To consider and create the types of societies we would like to see in the future, I believe we must examine this concept critically and think about how we can create equal opportunities for land access without reinforcing conventional ideas about ownership.”
– Malik Yakini, from Land Justice: Reimagining Land, Food, and the Commons in the United States
WHY IS HOUSING COMMODIFIED?
We at SCTU believe that safe, dignified housing is a human right that every person deserves. However, the housing system in the US was built on the idea that housing is about generating profit, and is a luxury for only those with financial privilege. Here in Sonoma County, rising costs of living, climate disasters, and a history of targeted racist policies all make secure housing increasingly more difficult to access. We see a future where we don’t have to pay huge portions of our income just to stay in our homes. Our connection to land should be about setting roots, not turning profits. That’s where decommodified housing comes in.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO DECOMMODIFY HOUSING?
Decommodifying housing means taking housing off the speculative market, so it can’t be bought and sold for a profit. Instead, there are alternative housing models, like community land trusts and permanent real estate cooperatives, which create secure and affordable housing for generations to come.
CHECK OUT SONOMA COUNTY'S LOCAL COMMUNITY