The Housing Assembly

[Haga clic aquí para la versión en español]

housing-assembly-logo-e1535652126769.pngAbout Us

We are a social movement of people representing over 20 different communities in the Western Cape, South Africa. We formed in 2009 to address housing inequality across South Africa. Our slogan is “Decent Housing for All”.

We work together with our communities who live in all the different types of bad housing here (informal settlements, backyards, temporary relocation areas, rental stock and badly built RDP housing). We also mobilise around housing and human rights related issues like access to water.

What the Housing Assembly stands for: Our vision, aims, and principles.

Our Vision


Our Aims

The aims of the Housing Assembly are:

  • to build a City-wide mass organization that unites the working class, especially those living in informal settlements, in backyards, in tiny and badly-build RDP houses and overcrowded public rented dwellings and other overcrowded, unfit or insecure housing, in a struggle for decent housing for all;
  • to especially reach out to and mobilize women, youth, students, the unemployed, the disabled, non-citizens (economic migrants and refugees) and other disadvantaged and oppressed groups living in bad housing conditions;
  • to support the struggle of middle class people for decent housing;
  • to link the struggle for decent housing to other key working class issues, such as water, electricity, health, the environment, land, education, unemployment and decent work, transport, among others;
  •  to link up with international struggles for decent housing for all;
  • to reveal the full extent of the suffering of the working class caused by bad housing conditions;
  •  to fully expose the failings of the government’s neoliberal housing policy;
  • to stop evictions, put an end to the criminalization of the occupation of land and win the right to occupy vacant land for the purposes of securing access to housing;
  •  to promote an understanding among affected communities that the cheap policies such as site-and-services, the upgrading of informal settlements and backyard dwellings, ‘re- blocking’ initiatives, self-help schemes, among others, are hopelessly inadequate changes and unacceptable as alternatives to decent housing for all;
  • to develop a working class alternative to the neoliberal capitalist housing policy framework;
  • to form a fighting united front or alliances with unions, social movements and other working class organizations in the struggle for decent housing for all and around other key working class issues;
  • to defend and promote the common interests of the working class;
  • to struggle for a society free of oppression and exploitation and where social and economic equality prevails.
Our Principles

We can only guarantee success if we build the Housing Assembly on the basis of our common principles:

  • maximum unity in action and struggle of the working class;
  • independent working class organization;
  • grassroots membership, democracy and participation in the Housing Assembly and the struggles of the working class;
  • consistent, democratic, accountable and collective leadership within the Housing Assembly;
  • gender equality, women’s leadership and struggle against sexist behavior in the Housing Assembly and society at large;
  • opposition to all forms of racism and xenophobia both within the Housing Assembly and in society at large;
  • rejection of discrimination based on sexual orientation both within the Housing Assembly and in society at large;
  • international solidarity in the struggle for decent housing for all.

Get to know HA

Blog – The blog is the official webpage of The Housing Assembly and it provides more information, such as news, contact, and resources.

Facebook Group – The public group facilitates the exchange of information between members and collaborators around the globe.

To access the Housing Assembly archive click on the link below!

HA – Archive File – 08.19.2017

To access the Housing Assembly News archive click on the links below!

Housing Assembly News – 2012-April 2017


To access the academic articles related to the Housing Assembly click on the links below!

Evans, M. (2013). Advancing transformative justice-

Levenson, Z. (2017) Living_on_the_Fringe_in_Post-Apartheid_C

Levenson, Z. (2017). Social_Movements_beyond_Incorporation_Th

McKinley, D. T. (2014). Labour and community in transition


Ruiters, G. (2014). Spaces of Hope Rethinking Trade Union Community Alliances and Citizenship in a Post alliance Era in South Africa

Ruiters, G., & McDonald, D. (2014)

Thompson, L. (2014). Expressions of Citizenship Through Participation and Protest


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