Property Guardianships: Squatters paying rent?

Fire station used for property guardianship
Fire station used for property guardianship
Submitted by Aufheben on May 24, 2020

Property guardianships might be considered the housing equivalent of the ‘gig economy’. ‘Flexibility’ on the part of the tenant means giving up the usual tenancy rights and protections. This arrangement has now become a global business model with a number of multinational companies involved. We argued back in Aufheben 13 (2005) that:

the very ubiquity of housing in our everyday lives has often meant that the political and social importance of housing is overlooked by those interested in the social question. Yet, as one of the central elements in the reproduction of labour power, housing is above all a class issue.

In this issue, we return to housing with an Intakes article that provides the first critical analysis of the rise of and resistance to property guardianships. It was important to get the perspective of those with experience of living in and of organizing against property guardianships. So this article is partly written by activists involved in one local campaign, alongside an investigation of the history and operation of this housing model.