Housing, eviction and inheritance: the case of elderly women in southwest Beirut
This project aimed to investigate the inter-relationship between the housing conditions of vulnerable social groups and the transformation of the urban and suburban landscapes. More specifically, we looked into two processes which are contributing, in varying degrees, to the vulnerable housing conditions faced by elderly women: eviction, and inheritance. We examined how residents negotiate pressures exerted by the law, by real-estate speculation and by the ongoing housing crisis. Click on the image above to read 3 graphic stories produced as part of this project (english + arabic).
Shared Inheritance in Sabra – articulating the value of space and challenging the imagined certainty of property
In this article we follow the story of two widows who live in the low-income neighborhood of Sabra south of Beirut, in a small building they co-inherited with 11 other inheritors. We investigate how Nadia and Hayat’s housing rights are jeopardized by market-driven pressures, and undermined by the legal frameworks for inheritance and property. In many ways exemplary of much wider dynamics, their story offers glimpses into the unjust realities of over a third of the Lebanese population, who also live in inherited homes, and is a cautionary tale for private homeownership, which in 2014 represented over 40% of Beirut’s dwellers. Click on the image to download the full report (english).
The Housing Monitor
The Housing Monitor is an interactive online platform for consolidating research, building advocacy and proposing alternatives to advance the right to housing in Lebanon. The monitor seeks a comprehensive approach to housing, recognizing that it is more than just shelter, as it encompasses social networks and access to other resources that the neighborhood environment provides. Click on the image above to access the platform.
Think Housing Competition
The public sector in Lebanon lags behind in its responsibility to set and enforce affordable housing strategies or programs, governed by comprehensive housing and land policies. Housing provision is thus relegated to private developers. More specifically, Beirut’s real estate landscape is characterized by unjustified high prices, and a vertical expansion at the expense of diversified types of housing. The glaring lack of adequate legislations coupled with powerful private interests lead to an unbalanced growth, within a void in policymaking. In an effort to advocate for affordable housing and more inclusive cities, this competition seeks innovative proposals for housing options that challenge the dominant models of urban development by reversing ongoing displacements of low and middle-income residents. Click on the image to access the competition's website and resources.
Housing Narratives from Ras Beirut
Over the past 150 years Ras Beirut has changed from an agricultural community to a dense urban neighborhood, particularly distinguished for its social, economic and cultural diversity. This diversity is however increasingly threatened by rapid urban transformations; its run-down residential buildings are being demolished, and their longtime residents displaced, and replaced by high-end luxury towers catering for a global financial elite. Through a research workshop, we produced a book about the housing landscape in Ras Beirut from a historical perspective, linking it to current challenges of access to affordable housing in the city. Click on the image above to download the booklet in pdf (arabic).
Beirut Eviction Map
The Beirut Eviction Map was one of Public Works Studio's early efforts in mapping eviction threats in Beirut. This interactive map consolidates cases gathered from the studio's research, and allows users to report threats themselves. Click on the image above to access the map.