La Hidra Cooperativa
Jaime Palomera is co-founder and senior researcher at La Hidra, Urban Research Institute based in Barcelona. Over the last fifteen years, he has devoted his time to studying the roots of urban inequalities with a special focus on housing, and to fostering the collective design of viable alternatives.
He received his MA in Cultural Studies from the University of London and his PhD in Social Anthropology from UB (University of Barcelona). Since then, he has worked as a European Research Council researcher and professor at UB, where he led the Political Economy of Housing Module (MA Urban Studies), and at the Institute of Government and Public Policy (UAB). He has also been Visiting Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center (New York) and at the ÉHESS (Paris).
He has written on a variety of interrelated topics, such as the historical shift from industrial fordism to financialized post-fordism in Spain; the relation between the mortgage system and the reciprocity networks of the poor; the role of housing as an asset and its relation with welfare regimes; the financialization of the construction sector; the impact of the rental market on the living conditions of the population; and the use of the moral economy concept to understand changes under capitalism.
Among the different grassroots initiatives he has been intensely involved in, the most well known is the Tenants Union in Catalonia and Spain, which he co-founded in 2017: a housing movement that has rapidly grown in many cities, stopping thousands of non-fault evictions through civil disobedience, confronting corporate landlords, and designing important public policies such as rent control. He is also a member of the Commons Foundation and Urban Front, laboratories of ideas that produce critical thinking rooted in social movements and progressive governments to promote social and environmental justice, as well as the Advisory Board for the OHB (Barcelona Housing Observatory).