European Platform to tackle homelessness
One year ago, all 27 EU member states committed to concrete measures to combat homelessness at the conference in Lisbon – By 2030, no one in the EU should have to live on the streets anymore.
According to the EU Commission, around 700,000 people in the EU currently sleep on the streets every night – 70 percent more than 10 years ago.
The “Lisbon Declaration on the European Platform against Homelessness” sets out the following 5 goals:
No one should have to live on the streets for lack of accessible, safe and suitable emergency accommodation.
No one lives in emergency or transitional accommodation for longer than is necessary for a successful move to a permanent housing solution.
No one is discharged from an institution (for example, prison, hospital, care facility) without being offered an appropriate housing option.
Evictions from accommodation should be prevented wherever possible. No one should be evicted without an offer of a suitable housing solution.
No one should be discriminated against because of her or his homeless status. https://www.bundeskanzleramt.gv.at/themen/europa-aktuell/start-der-europaeischen-plattform-zur-bekaempfung-der-obdachlosigkeit.html
Gerhard Trabert and Frank Walter Steinmeier
The Poverty and Health Association introduces itself https://www.armut-gesundheit.de/was-wir-tun/
In the June/July issue of GALORE magazine, on pages 32-38, there is an interview with Gerhard Trabert about his work as a doctor with and for homeless people that is worth reading.
GALORE: After the election of the Federal President, you had an appointment with Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Did you address these issues there?
Gerhard Trabert: This one hour was first a mutual feeling out. What I noticed was that He is well-informed about homelessness, not superficial. We developed initial ideas on what to do to raise public awareness of the issue. As Federal President, he can’t make a decision-making policy, but he can raise awareness and exert pressure by putting issues on the agenda.”
Perhaps Mr Steinmeier’s contact with Gerhard Trabert will sensitise him to his own history in the Chancellery and his contribution to Agenda 2010.
At the end of his dissertation, Steinmeier wrote in 1991:
A proposal that takes a path for the constitutional safeguarding of the need for housing between, on the one hand, a non-binding broad definition of a state objective and, on the other hand, a subjective claim to a fundamental right, could … …read:
The creation and maintenance of healthy housing conditions for all people is the special responsibility of the state. It shall ensure a forward-looking expansion of the supply of housing adapted to the development of needs and the creation of living environments which do justice to the central importance of housing for human life. The legislature determines the content and limits of the economic exploitation of housing, guarantees social protection against dismissal and ensures that rents are in line with incomes.
The Federation, the Länder and the municipalities shall share the responsibility for providing housing for lower-income groups of the population. To this end, they shall promote social housing construction as well as private and cooperative initiatives. The sufficient creation of housing suitable for the elderly and disabled shall be ensured.
Housing may only be evicted if reasonable substitute housing is available.
(Frank Walter Steinmeier: Bürger ohne Obdach. Between the Duty to Provide Housing and the Right to Housing. Tradition und Perspektiven staatlicher Intervention zur Verhinderung und Beseitigung von Obdachlosigkeit. VSH-Verlag Soziale Hilfe, Bielefeld 1992, page 394f.)
If you want to read the whole thing, you can find the text in the university library here in Cologne.
In commemoration of the Stollwerck occupation
The Stollwerck occupation was a 49-day squat of the former Stollwerck chocolate factory in the Severinsviertel district of Cologne that began on 20 May and ended on 6 July 1980. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stollwerckbesetzung
Ingrid Müller-Münch titled her story of the struggle for the Stollwerk “Dream Factory”. A few quotes from it: The city as it actually was – inhuman, expensive and cold – was not to find access to the future Stollwerck, which had long been completed on plans and in the minds of the squatters. Here, families and freaks, citizens and freaks, the alternative and the old were to find a cheap home under one roof, which for once would not be determined by the too short customs of social housing builders or the strict regiment of conservative landlords.
The weeks-long tug-of-war over the squatted factory has revealed how little room for imagination and development a city like Cologne is used to fobbing off those who cannot buy the necessary leeway with money. Why else would young people and architects, city planners, lawyers, freaks, long-haired, short-shaven and women’s movement women have reached for this factory like for a straw on which they could finally pull their imagination out of the water? (p.45f.)
On the Whitsun weekend, what could have been Stollwerck came to light, for three days something of what the people in Stollwerck later described as a new “attitude to life” flashed through the squatters’ everyday life. In the cafeteria in front of the factory gate, the citizens of the neighbourhood sat next to squatters, vagrants and freaks. Families had coffee served to them that had been made from stolen water and with stolen electricity. Several thousand Cologne residents had moved their Pflingstausflug to the squatted factory – despite all the warnings from Oberstadtdirektor Rossa: “Anyone entering the squatted area is trespassing.” (S.63
Manfred: “You know, there’s a nice poem somewhere about when the wind comes from the front, you can smell paradise. When it comes from behind, you can smell the gas chambers that are behind us. Yes, and they are behind us, they are historically very close behind us. And when the wind comes from the front, you have this light smell, not of hashish, but of the life you would like to live. And what was there very briefly in such situations as sometimes in the Stollwerck.” (p. 90) (Ingrid Müller-Münch/ Wolfgang Prosinger/ Sabine Rosenbladt/ Linda Stibler et al: Occupation – because wishing didn’t help. Cologne, Freiburg, Gorleben, Zurich and Berlin. Rororo aktuell. Reinbek near Hamburg 1981)
International Building Exhibition Vienna 2022
How will we live tomorrow?
23 June to 18 November 2022 https://www.iba-wien.at/
New Social Housing in the Context of Current Social Challenges by Ingrid Breckner https://www.iba-wien.at/iba-wien/iba-wien/neues-soziales-wohnen-1
Affordable housing Why are rents in Vienna still so cheap?
Housing is often hardly affordable in many large European cities – not so in Vienna. Almost half of the people there live in municipal and non-profit housing. What the city does differently. https://www.spiegel.de/ausland/bezahlbares-wohnen-wie-wien-zum-groessten-vermieter-europas-wurde-a-7b980817-c992-450f-8263-8372ccbb5dba?sara_ecid=soci_upd_wbMbjhOSvViISjc8RPU89NcCvtlFcJ
Greens, CDU and Volt continue to sell municipal land to profit-oriented investors On 20.6.2022 the council sold eleven allotment gardens at Bonner Straße 536 to https://www.wvm-immobilien.de/ in a closed session. https://www.ksta.de/koeln/-der-garten-ist-unser-zweites-zuhause–paechter-hoffen-nach-kuendigung-auf-den-stadtrat–39760978
Programmes, Messages, News
Vonovia wants to turn down the heating at night In order to save energy, Germany’s largest housing company wants to lower the flow temperature of the heating system during the night hours. The rooms will then only be heated to around 17 degrees at most. https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/service/energiesparmassnahme-vonovia-will-nachts-die-heizungen-herunterdrehen-a-85367049-2b73-4f2d-bac8-d2017c3f7b87
Looking for building cranes – from minute 18:30 Why there is no building in the south of Mülheim The south of Mülheim is one of the largest new building areas in Cologne. Many of the old factory buildings have now been demolished, but excavators and construction cranes are rarely seen there. Instead, many of the plots are changing hands. Philipp Haaser finds out what the current status of the wasteland is. https://www.stadtrevue.de/podcast/
Adler leaves feathers in the wind Real estate group is troubled by accusations of fraud from a British short seller. Authorities put business model to the test https://www.jungewelt.de/artikel/429936.pfusch-am-bau-adler-l%C3%A4sst-federn.html
Analysis by district. This is how much property prices fluctuate in Cologne’s neighbourhoods https://www.ksta.de/wirtschaft/auswertung-nach-bezirken-so-stark-schwanken-die-immobilienpreise-in-koelns-veedeln-39788036
“Not less than 20 euros net cold” Almost didn’t make it on ARD: a conversation with Hauke Wendler and Christoph wickel about their research film “Immobilienpoker”.
Expert on housing policy: “Apartments are not asparagus” Does building help against the housing shortage? Matthias Bernt researches gentrification and housing policy and has better suggestions. https://taz.de/Experte-ueber-Wohnungspolitik/!5863156/
Housing policy in Berlin: speculation with housing is profitable The Mitte district has cleared the way for the demolition of Habersaathstraße 40-48. This is a fatal signal for all tenants in the city. https://taz.de/Wohnungspolitik-in-Berlin/!5864904/
No rent brake. In NRW, the new alliance promises “45,000 new rent-controlled housing units by 2027”. However, 100,000 flats would be needed every year, 25,000 of which would be rent-controlled. https://taz.de/Schwarz-Gruene-Koalitionsvertraege/!5863162/
In the last 10 years, homelessness in Houston has decreased by 63%. Over 25,000 people helped out of homelessness in that time https://kontrast.at/houston-obdachlosigkeit
“Many have to leave the cities” Housing is getting more and more expensive – that’s why the Mayor of Tübingen, Boris Palmer, proposes a nationwide rent cap. https://www.zeit.de/2022/27/tuebingen-boris-palmer-mietendeckel-wohnen-kosten
17-21.08 2022, European Summer University, Uni Mönchengladbach with a forum and two workshops on housing https://www.esu22.eu/en/home
17.08.2022, 2 p.m., Council
18.08.2022, 15:30 Social Committee
20.08.2022, 2 p.m., Domforum, History on the Street. Guided tour with Linda Rennings for the Women’s History Society https://www.frauengeschichtsverein.de/2022/08/20/geschichte-auf-der-stra%C3%9Fe-eine-stadtf%C3%BChrung-mit-der-k%C3%B6lschen-linda/
27.8.2022 at 3 p.m., City historian Martin Stankowski and selected vendors of the street magazine DRAUSSENSEITER will have a tete-a-tete and show that Cologne really does have a double city map.
Tickets for the good cause are now available here:
8.10.2022 Nationwide day of action for a rent freeze
9 July 2022 Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)