Structural Evictions and Alienation
Keywords:displacement, evictions, structural evictions, housing, dispossession
Despite decreases in formal evictions in Sweden, housing precarity measured through homelessness as well as through various forms of displacement is increasing. It is therefore important to conceptualize beyond evictions when looking to the condition of various housing regimes. Forced relocation following renovations (renoviction) is a dominant form of displacement in Sweden today, and this form of displacement makes little difference compared to formal evictions, in terms of outcomes for both landlords and tenants. Drawing inspiration from displacement literature, I suggest conceptualizing all forms of ‘mundane displacement’ that lead to forced relocation as ‘structural evictions’. By mundane displacement I mean displacement processes instigated from within an already established political and legal framework, by actors in the realm of housing, that result in for instance increased costs of living for households to the extent that they are forced to leave their homes. I will use the example of renoviction to show how the boundary between formal evictions and structural evictions through renoviction are blurry at best. In this paper the similarities between formal evictions and displacement through renoviction will be illustrated through narratives by tenants relocated within two neighborhoods in Uppsala, Sweden, that are undergoing renovations.
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