By Jonathan Donald Jenner
Everyone needs housing, and housing is canonized as a human right across many declarations including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man. Yet across the globe, housing is largely distributed to individuals on markets, from private owners to private buyers. Private owners have their own rights, which include the ability to exclude and the ability to set the rent too damn high. Save for those who profit from ownership of real estate, we’re all hurting. As we work to stop our hurting, we’ve got to recognize the good work of activists and organizations who are helping out those hurt the most. But we’ve also got to bring ideas for structural change to the table, and expand our imagination beyond only shoring up the egregious offenses of an unjust system. One shining example of a structural alternative to housing comes from the small village of Marinaleda, Spain.