Currently, more than 20% of the Spanish population lives in rented housing, although this figure rises among people between 20 and 39 years old, reaching 11 million citizens, almost a quarter of the total. In addition, more than half are not planning to buy a home in the next 10 years.
The so-called “No-Credit Generation”, as we have been nicknamed, receives its name because it does not hold bank credits or mortgages, but lives by means of leases. The reasons are varied, although obviously, the economic justification is the most widespread: In a generation facing the highest unemployment rate in the history of the contemporary economy, our situation of access to permanent employment and the level of wages do not even allow us to take out a mortgage on the family nuclei, which are basically made up of one to three people.
On the other hand, the reason for flexibility and mobility, perhaps in relation to the above, is gaining ground. The members of this generation do not intend to settle in a specific city, but rather that migration – nationally and internationally speaking – remains within our plans. Buying a home would be both a physical and economic burden.
What we will learn from the Rent Generation
The result, beyond a generation of potential globetrotters, if I may call ourselves that, is a sense of unfortunate innocence, of inhabiting places in an ephemeral manner that contrasts with the convention of the home instilled in children. Inhabiting has become a constant appropriation of changing spaces, even with limitations in this task – hanging a poster or a painting, reforming or personalizing the furniture…-.
Obviously, I do not mean that all situations are such, nor that this change in conventionality is a step backwards. However, this constant cycle of appropriation of the most personal space that we have can help us to understand other processes. how do we make public space our own, limited in its transformations? does comfort exist in these spaces, or is it just habituation?
From here, we only want to launch a somewhat silent cry for a youth – no longer so young – who has seen instability and precariousness as a way of life, and has had to appropriate the situation with the mere intention of making it bearable. Is it time to hang up our paintings?