Brussels follow-on to Inura

Inura ended very well and I travelled with Massimo Alamandola in the train to Brussels, so we could write up our notes of meetings in the train. Then in Brussels enjoying a bit of solitude, sitting in my favourite cafe Fontainhas with its free wifi I wrote a document which was needed for Inura – a very simple explanation of REITs on which we are starting some campaigning and research. There is very great apprehension among soicial housing tenants in Germany and elsewhere as international investors acquire big stocks of formerly-social housing….. It seems quite right to be doing this in Brussels, the one place from which all this could conceivably be regulated. If you are interested please do read it and comment so we can make it a better and more useful document. It is in the extended entry below.

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inura 2006 essen

Writing from the annual meeting of INURA at Essen in the Ruhrgebiet. Sitting in the garden of the house where we are meeting – a garden with wi-fi and fireflies at night. It’s a residential centre for youth activity (and I am scarcely youthful enough to climb the 3m ladder to my sleeping balcony each night). It is so interesting to see the residues of industrial capitalism and social democracy in this region – the scattered settlements separated by forstes and hills, the grimness of the industrial history sanitised by disuse and forest… wonderful public transport and other public infrastructure……

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