Paulo Andre Suarez Rojas

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Graduate Center, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10541

Approve Date

April 6, 2023

Project Title

Suarez Rojas, Paulo (New York, Graduate Center, City U. of) "Urban Financialization and Its Others: Housing Dispossession and Tenant Politics in Los Angeles"

Despite living in a city with the most progressive renter protections in the country, tenants in Los Angeles are one of the populations most vulnerable to homelessness in the world. The global expansion of finance into rental markets has generated new landlord-tenant dynamics. Tenants in corporate-owned buildings experience rising landlord harassment, housing neglect, and eviction notices. In L.A., multiple forms of tenant politics have challenged these practices. Yet, tenants not only seek to oppose them but also question and reinterpret the meanings of dispossession. This project asks: what processes of political subjectification shape tenants’ understandings of dispossession, and how do these processes uphold or challenge global regimes of urban financialization? By examining ‘tenant’ as a contested category produced in everyday interactions and mass circulation, my research traces the practices and discourses that produce notions of dispossession across different political spaces. I will conduct twelve months of archival research with media artifacts and anti-eviction data, as well as ethnographic research in corporate-owned buildings and with tenant advocacy organizations in L.A. This project expands scholarship on housing financialization by shedding light on new struggles against urban finance and scholarship on tenant relations by situating them within changing discourses of dispossession.