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The struggles of the inhabitants hold the state responsible for the irresponsibility of the market

by Cristina Reynals

The Network on Inhabitants has put the spotlight on concrete experiences that renew the commitment of Ethics and Responsibility in its work on behalf of the most vulnerable.

Here we share with you the story of an organization that fought so that 30’000 families could keep their homes making responsible the State for the irresponsibility of the market

Argentina. The struggles of the inhabitants hold the state responsible for the irresponsibility of the market

MO.DE.VI.FA- Movimiento en Defensa de la Vivienda Familiar – (Movement in Defence of Family Housing)

President: Ernesto Domingo Paez Country, city: Argentina, Mendoza.

Social-Economic-Political Context

Mo.De.Vi.Fra, started in 2001 when a breakdown of prívate economies carried out a collapse of the country, it is when the policy holders of mortgage loans saw themselves faced with the impossibility of facing their debts.

The number of people affected rose to 30,000.

Organisation and Resistance

In January 2001, faced with the worry of losing the only family home, the Movement in Defence of Family Housing, Mo.De.Vi.Fa was born where those with mortgage debts unite to defend their housing from evictions and resales.

All the affected family can participate for the defence of their houses during evictions, confronting justice officials and resisting in front of their houses, preventing them from carrying out their duty.

Battles and Legal Struggles

The province of Mendoza, Argentina, not counting on the support of provincial laws, nor national laws that responded to the necessities that they required.

Our weapon of work was and is the National Constitution and its article 14bis and the International Treaties.

One should fight to achieve the laws that irrefutably support the ZERO EVICTIONS and RESALES of the home.


Laws that at national level protect those with mortgage loans

Law 26.167- Extension of Law 26.497

Law 26313

Law 25.798 and its’ modifications. Law 26.062- 26.084 and 26103

Laws at provincial level

Law 7642

Law 7684. Modified the CODE OF CIVIL PRACTICE of the province of Mendoza

Law 8005

Law 8182- 8424- 8518

Re-structuring of mortgage loans

Decree 1366/2010 of ex bank Hipotecario Nacional (National Mortgage) Judges involved with leagues, presentations for charges will use Banco Frances and Banco Nazionale del Laboro, sanctions against the Banco Hipotecario for discrimination.


It should be made known to society as much as President, Congress and judiaciary that the problem of those indebted with mortgages is a social problem.

It has been learned that in business dialogue should be conducted through consensus and dissent and in conjunction with the “Follow up Commissions” of mortgage holders in the province of Mendoza, integrated by the power of the state, congress (senators and congressmen) and the third sector MO.DE.VI.FA that managed to review the existing social problem.

The fight that is lost is that which is abandoned.

Precisely 30,000 families who lost their homes have been rescued.

It is fundamental to have perseverance, willpower and resistance in this and whatever struggle where achievements are to be made.

Construction of Right through struggle

We irrefutably believe that we have contributed with society in defence of the Right to Suitable Family Housing, and through these aformentioned laws.

Example of this is law 7684 which modified the Code of Civil Practice in Article V of 255 of the province of Mendoza, that stayed with posterity and in plain execution.

In August 2005 Ernesto Domingo Paez, President of Mo.De.Vi.Fa presented before the Commison of Housing and Urban Legislation of the Honourable Chamber of Deputies of the Nation.

In the month of April 2011, Raquel Rolnik in the public audience of “Space to inhabit” presented to the relatory of the UN the difficulties of mortgages holders in the province of Mendoza and her proposal to work.

Raqul placed the necessity of creating a joint work between the government and the NGO for the establishment of adequate means and to resolve the difficulties of mortgage holders within the province and the country.

Paez emphasised the importance of granting the position of non-seizable to individual and family housing to be considered as “A HUMAN RIGHT”.

Mobilisation, Campaigns, Alliances

To make known to mortgage holders that their difficulties were produced by causes outside of their will, produced by a financial collapse, that was a social calamity, it was the first campaign, later the campaign of awareness by means of constant street protests that permitted the arrive of means of diffusion.

They banged on the doors of on shift governors and legislators.

Almost permanent guard was taken in the Provincial Legislation.

National congresses conformed a National Co-ordinator composed of 18 provinces and 20 associations of mortgage holders.

We count on the support from educational guild SUTE, currently also with Antena Sur and the IAI- International Alliance of Inhabitants, of which we are members.

We are not allied with those who do not defend the right the housing or attribute that those who have mortgage debts belong to a group of people called “culture of not paying”, unknowing of the real difficulties.

We have relations with all the political parties that already to not be subsidised by any of those we work with wide liberty in action, obtaining achievement such as the laws for unanimity, and the permanent dialogue with President, Congress and judiciary powers.

The next steps are to continue with the same strategy of work that has already had positive results, to share it in the next World Forum to support the work of this NGO and to learn from other organisations which have been productive and positive.

Published on: 30 June 2013
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