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How has the pandemic driven up inequalities and provided the opportunity for corporate actors to acquire large amounts of housing?

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The pandemic has expanded and exposed social and economic inequalities. Billionaires have seen their wealth rise by 27% over the last year while many have been plunged into poverty.

The current crisis has also served as an opportunity for housing grabs — the unregulated acquisition of residential property by powerful corporate actors.

It is starkly apparent that such inequalities are structured through racialized risk, the disproportionate and systematic exposure of working-class communities of colour to unemployment, unsafe jobs, eviction, homelessness, displacement, and wealth loss.

With our panel of speakers, we will explore the dynamic of housing grabs. Drawing on recent research published about the situation in Los Angeles, we will broaden the perspective to include the UK; consider whether the pandemic has accelerated processes of financialisation and ask — what must our response as a movement be?


Desiree Fields

Desiree is an urban geographer based at Berkeley, University of California, researching how finance and digital platforms shape cities today.

Nigel de Noronha

Nigel is a geographer at the University of Nottingham, working on comparative housing policy in the UK including work on housing, race and migration and the history of social housing

Terra Graziani

Terra is a researcher and tenants’ rights activist based in Los Angeles, California. She founded and co-directs the Los Angeles chapter of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP). She is co-author of recent paper 'Who profits from Crisis' (

Joel Montano

Joel is a researcher based in Los Angeles, looking into housing, eviction and tenants rights. He is co-author of recent paper 'Who profits from Crisis' (

Pamela Stephens

Pamela is a doctoral student in Urban Planning at UCLA who studies how urban planning practices produce Black space and the ways that Black communities build power within and across these spaces. She is co-author of recent paper 'Who profits from Crisis' (

This event is part of a broader series: 'We only want the earth: Building our way out of the housing crisis'. The series has been made possible through the generous support of the Rosa Luxemburg Siftung, London office.

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