chapter  4
Reconfiguring the Public through Housing Rights Struggles in Spain
ByMelissa García-Lamarca
Pages 12

This chapter focuses on struggles around housing, a key aspect of society and life in the urban realm. It examines how contestations related to the public have emerged in Spain through the actions of the housing rights movement known as the Platform for Mortgage Affected People (PAH). The chapter explains the PAH's emergence within the context of the political economic foundations underlying Spain's most recent housing boom that has left a legacy of dispossession amidst 3.5 million empty housing units across the country. It details the PAH and its activities, demonstrating how it reconfigures housing problems experienced in the private, household sphere into collective, public concerns. The chapter focuses on the campaign that recuperates housing with and for families with no housing alternative, called Obra Social (social work), as an emblematic reconfiguration of the public sphere in Spain. It reflects on how capturing the spatiality of the public sphere raises fundamentally important questions about the political dimensions of public space.