Newsletter 102, 10 September 2022

Action Alliance against Housing Shortage and Urban Degradation, Newsletter 102

The NRW alliance “We want to live!” is sounding the alarm. The stock of publicly subsidised housing has already been reduced from around 1.4 million to less than 450,000. According to NRW.BANK’s calculations, 46% of these will fall out of the subsidised housing stock by 2030. The state government’s intention to create 45,000 new socially subsidised flats by 2027 will not be able to stop this development. Despite high demand, fewer and fewer subsidised flats will be available in the future.

In many large cities in NRW, about 50 per cent of households are entitled to move into such a flat, and not even one in ten of them can actually move into a publicly subsidised flat at present.

On 1 August 2022, the city’s administrative director Heike Kerscher took over as head of the Housing Office.–heike-kerscher-wird-neue-leiterin-des-wohnungsamts-39708048?cb=1662653736449&

On 28 September 2022, the Cologne city administration will be in Vienna at the symposium: How will we live in Europe tomorrow?

The magazine of the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger had the topic housing allowance on 7 September 2022.–ob-ihnen-wohngeld-zusteht—mit-rechner-39908852

The housing policy spokesperson of the Left Party’s parliamentary group in the Bundestag, Caren Lay, pleads for the introduction of a new housing subsidy without expiring commitment periods and proposes in her new book “Wohnopoly”: “Today, the federal, state and local governments spend 17.5 billion euros a year on rent subsidies – housing benefit and rent costs for people on Hartz IV.Money that does NOT ONLY end up in the pockets of landlords, but regularly finances the rent madness. It is money wasted, because once paid out, it does not come back. Why not change course and finally build for yourself again? Investments in public housing are here to stay. They create value, future revenue opportunities and satisfied residents. A public housing programme that is binding and reliable over ten years could lay a good foundation. Every euro invested in affordable public housing is money well spent.” (p.148f.)

Construction Minister Klara Geywitz in an interview with HinzundKunzt: “For the first time in the budget negotiations, we have placed a clear focus on social housing with 14.5 billion euros until 2026.” 

Municipal housing construction in Cologne – a disaster

It could have been done better

Interview with Michael Schleicher 2015

On the one hand, there is the expiry of the commitment period for publicly subsidised housing construction and, on the other hand, extremely low rates of new construction in this area; overall, relatively low growth rates in new housing construction and, in this case, around 50% in the area of owner-occupied housing. 

A major factor is the municipal property policy, which has sold plots mainly for ownership measures and under fiscal aspects, i.e. at high prices. This, of course, cannot bring low rents. In my view, all these factors have a common denominator, namely market orientation. This has been observed in Cologne for at least ten years, but of course not only here: Housing policy is pursued as housing market policy and therefore supposedly needs no control – except for the regulations of building and planning law. 

Now we have the result.

This has to do with the departmental principle of the administrations, the fragmentation and the partly conflicting interests of the official levels, but of course also with the aforementioned market orientation, which considers political control unnecessary or even harmful, and the thinking in terms of electoral periods and not in terms of the long term, which is what housing construction requires. 

However, the relinquishment of federal political responsibility for housing construction has contributed to the increasing loss of importance of this policy field, while on the other hand many Länder – and above all the municipalities – lack the means to compensate for this withdrawal.

The planning law that has now also been created in Cologne, which stipulates that at least 30% of new buildings on public land must be publicly subsidised housing, is a very important step here. But this must be ensured in the long term and the quota should be increased at least for the next few years, and the allocation of other parts should also be made, if possible, to investors who build at low cost, such as cooperatives or housing associations, which still feel committed to a socio-political mandate. The city must be able to enforce that currently and in the long term a considerable part of the new housing is built in the low and medium price segment, because only in this way can the housing supply for about half of the population in Cologne be made possible and guaranteed in the future. It cannot be that pensioners, many of whom have kept the city running in the past, are pushed to the outskirts of the city in their old age because they can no longer afford the rents.

Only if clear goals are formulated that everyone wants to work on, or even has to work on, can the specialist egoism built into the administrative structures be overcome – and synergy effects can be achieved and many costs saved in the overall sum.

Open Monument Day at Bergisch-Gladbacher Str.1006

The house that homeless women occupied with the Socialist Self-Help Mülheim in spring 2019.–und-11–september-39913600

On 10.09.22, the next info talk will take place as part of the Open Monument Day at BG1006, our favourite little house in Dellbrück. Together with the Bürgertreff, we will decorate the inner courtyard with a flea market, coffee and cake from 11 am. There will be guided tours from 3 pm and an information talk about the house at 5 pm. We look forward to seeing you! and


Expropriating Deutsche Wohnen and Co (HG.): How socialisation succeeds – on the state of the debate

Karen Lay: Wohnopoly. How property speculation is dividing the country and what we can do about it: Westend Verlag, Frankfurt a.M. 2022

Public Housing Promotion of the State of NRW 2018 – 2022

Programmes, reports, news

Kalle on the Day of the Homeless – starting at minute 21—2088.html

SPIEGEL TV Special: Rent, Buy, Suffer: Germany’s big housing crisis TUESDAY, 06 September 2022, 22.35 – 0.00, RTL

Why rents could rise even faster in the future

Berlin: The increase of cold rents for thousands of households by the state-owned housing associations meets with criticism.

State subsidies for social housing are often also used for condominiums and houses.

Federal Housing First Association founded

The road to socialisation

“For landlords, these contracts are a goldmine”

Hamburg: High inflation also causes “index rents” to rise. The Left Party demands a cap on prices.

Bavaria: Housing shortage – municipal association sees social explosive power,TErEDBj

Saxony: Fairs on housing, building, buying in Leipzig


10.09.2022, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Rally against vacancies: “Housing for the homeless and refugees”, corner of Berrenrather Str. / Friedrich Engels Straße

10.09.2022, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Planning for the new Kreuzfeld district, Church of St. Catherine of Siena, Schneebergstr.63

11.09.2022 Day of the homeless

14.09.2022, 2 p.m., Speech by Social Affairs Commissioner Rau on the Day of the Homeless, Rudolfplatz

15.09.2022, 7 pm, Networking meeting against the energy price explosion. DGB

16/17 September 2022, Black Rock and Co, University of Potsdam

17-25 September 2022, Photo exhibition “mülheim anders” at SSM, Am Faulbach 2

17.09.2022, 2 p.m., We don’t pay any more, corner of Frankfurter Str./Rösrather Straß

18.9. 2022,| 14-15:30, Rainer Kippe: Housing for all. Abolish homelessness at last. SSM, Am Faulbach 2, 51063 Cologne

For a city without homelessness For a city without forced evictions For a city without drug-related deaths For a city without violence against women and children For a city without deportations For a city without poverty

10 September 2022

Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe


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