2017-11-07

Banks and vulture funds make money from ordinary people’s distress. The only way to fight back is to outsmart them. Wall Street giants—the so-called ‘vulture funds’—have been on a house-buying spree across Europe and the United States since the 2008 financial crash.

They have bought more than €223 billion worth of troubled real estate loans in Europe in the last four years. The article argues that profits made by these institutions from ordinary people’s distress have made them the target of a backlash that has bought together homeowners, renters and housing activists across the world. The article speaks to homeowners and tenants who have first-hand experiences living under this new kind of corporate landlord. It speaks to campaigners in Spain, Ireland and the United States who have one common fight—to protect the right to decent and affordable housing for everyone. 
 
“Their attitude was, we don’t care about you, you’re not a person, you’re just a number.” Mariana, a former tenant of IRES, a corporate landlord in Ireland.
 
"I spent day and night crying until a friend put me in contact with PAH. We were very afraid, but ultimately we decide to fight and we won. Yes, we can!" Paquita Rivas, PAH activist.  During the recession, her daughter was forced to sell the apartment she’d bought during the boom times but for a rock bottom price, leaving her owing €55,000 to the bank. When Blackstone took over the mortgage, they came after her parent’s home as payment.  
 

Cat McShane

Cat McShane is a journalist and filmmaker based in London. Her work has appeared on the BBC and Channel 4 and she writes for a wide range of publications. 

Yiannis Panagiotopoulos

Yiannis Panagiotopoulos (born in Athens, 1985) is a freelance journalist based in Athens, Greece. He has worked for several online and print media in Greece and in France, including the investigative journalism magazine, Hot Doc. 
 

Pere Rusinol

Pere Rusiñol (Barcelona, 1972) worked as a Staff Writer in several mainstream newspapers in Spain for almost two decades, mainly at El País. Since 2012 he is involved in setting up new and independent media, specially at "Alternativas Económicas", "Mongolia" and "Eldiario.es".
 

Esperana Escribano

Esperanza Escribano (1988) is a freelance journalist based in Barcelona. She has worked for several media organisations such as El País and Público and is now a producer for the BBC in Spain.
 
Supported
Grant of €9.000, awarded on t25/11/2015
ID
JF/JA2B/2015/326
Grant
European Cross-border Grants
Tags
  • Corruption
  • Economy
  • Organised crime