© 2019 CSIC. Since the outbreak of the economic crisis, socioeconomic vulnerability has worsened, both in relation to the number of families suffering a drop in income and also in terms of an increased gravity of their situations, which has driven certain social sectors into chronic poverty. Foreclosures have brought about serious difficulties in covering basic needs such as food, hygiene and household energy supplies. In Spain, due to the recent neoliberal reforms, public services have drastically shrunk resulting in an increased overburdening of family and community support networks. In this article, we explore the kinds of social capital provided to families through their participation in the Plataforma de Afectados por la Hipoteca (Platform for People Affected by Mortgages, PAH). Drawing on the analysis of empirical data, collected through non-participatory observation and semi-structured interviews of 30 families affected by the mortgage crisis in the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, we discuss to what extent the weak ties established with the PAH can fulfil either leverage or coping functions for the families. Furthermore, we ask in which processes the families can exercise their agency in the PAH, and whether or not these forms of empowerment provide social capital and social mobility.
- Foreclosure crisis
- Platform for People Affected by Mortgages (PAH)
- Social capital
- Weak ties