newsletter 95 – 16 July 2022

Social housing for Cologne

When we talk about social housing, we say it like the urban researcher Hartmut Häußermann: “Social housing follows a simple idea: poor people should live well. The Bauhaus motto, on the other hand, says: We adapt the houses to poverty. That is, to put it kindly, a questionable idea.”

The Stadt-Anzeiger headlined in its local section “High building costs. What can Cologne still afford?” instead of asking why the city doesn’t build itself when profit-oriented investors stop working as soon as profits fall.
Rising building costs jeopardise projects–hohe-baukosten–was-kann-sich-koeln-noch-leisten–39804134

Let’s imagine that the opposition in the council starts fighting and does everything it can to mobilise the city population to abolish the housing shortage.

A first step would be to hear all housing cooperatives. How many low-cost flats can they build if the city gives them building land for free? What can they do on their own, what financial and personnel help do they need? We are convinced that a few thousand men and women who would lend a hand can be mobilised for this, for a city without a housing shortage.

In her election campaign, Henriette Reker dedicated herself to the topic of housing and construction on 2 July 2020.
In her closing speech, Ms. Reker emphasised that “we” need both the public welfare-oriented cooperatives and the profit-oriented investors to solve the housing shortage.

We stand for a different “we” and call on the Council not to give one euro and one square metre of land to the profit-oriented investors. The CDU and the Greens stand for the sell-out of the city, which has given billions to private investors over the past 20 years – while during this time the number of social housing units has continued to fall.

In the last few weeks, politicians and the media have often said how catastrophic the situation of social housing is. It cannot be allowed to continue like this.

On 14 April 2022, the Left Party’s parliamentary group in the Bundestag submitted a small question to the federal government on the situation of social housing.

The number of social housing units continues to shrink in most Länder

Rent madness
More poor, less housing

The number of subsidised social housing units continues to decline nationwide. One reason: new construction in this segment is not profitable.

Fatal failure

Social housing. Guest commentary

By Caren Lay

Tenants face up to 5,000 euros more in service charges per year: “Socially explosive”.

Legal basis for social housing

End homelessness by 2030

The Federal Association for Assistance to the Homeless (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe, BAG W) calls on all institutions and services in the field of emergency housing assistance, all institutions, organisations and actors to get involved and to draw attention to the necessary political measures with their own actions on site and in the social media in order to end homelessness in Germany by 2030!

We are curious to see when we will finally see the independent organisations in protest on the streets.

“This must not remain lip service”
Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe puts pressure on the traffic light government with a campaign. An interview with Werena Rosenke

Prosperity is for everyone

Smart and credible local politics.
Politicians protect housing from the market, push cars out of the city centre, reorganise the city budget, give part of their wages to residents in need and defend museums and open-air swimming pools. It almost seems as if communism could be very simple.
You can order the whole text from the WoZ for a donation:
h ttps:// Translated with (free version)

Building Living Thinking

Lecture, by Martin Heidegger, held on 5 August 1951 as part of the “Darmstädter Gespräch II” on “Man and Space”.

Wolfgang Schirmacher (Hamburg):
Building as dwelling remains for everyday experience “the familiar”, so self-evident that we no longer perceive it. Only a linguistic recollection, which Heidegger undertakes when he refers to the Old High German word “buan”, meaning “to dwell”, can make it clear that “the actual meaning of building, namely dwelling . . . fell into oblivion”(22). This linguistic meaning of building has also been lost, withdrawn into the silence of linguistic history, like the Old Saxon sense of “wuon”, which refers to peace and the free (cf. 23). “Free”, Heidegger continues, “actually means to spare, . . to recover something into its own being . . . To dwell, to be brought to peace, means: to remain enclosed . . . into the free, which spares everything in its essence” (23).

Programmes, messages, news

178,000 people lived in shelters at the beginning of the year
For the first time, homeless people have been recorded for official nationwide statistics – but only those living in accommodation. Among them are also thousands of children.

NRW state government sets up “summer aid” for homeless people for the first time

End of the boom
Property prices are falling in the big cities

Cuts in Hartz IV That’s disrespectful, Chancellor
The SPD promised before the election that they would overcome Hartz IV. Almost everyone thought that this would make things more social, not more anti-social. But that was probably a mistake.

How do we become a political force?
Gal Beckerman: I think about the mass shootings we’ve had recently in the US and why nothing changes. I’ve been thinking a lot over the last few years about where the new comes from, what are the conditions under which it emerges. And the mass shootings are a good example, because every time something like that happens, we go through this ritual of being sad and shocked and blaming ourselves, and there’s no change at the end. And this sense of eternal recurrence frustrates people more and more. It frustrates me, anyway. And there seem to be fundamental structures in our world that somehow make it impossible to break out of this vicious circle.

Vivawest is one of the largest landlords in NRW with 120 flats, 4,773 in Cologne–die-mieten-steigen-nicht-automatisch-mit-der-inflation–39803352

Translated with (free version)


17-21.08.2022, European Summer University, Uni Mönchengladbach with a forum and two workshops on housing

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

27.08.2022 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

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

9 July 2022 Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe

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