Newsletter No 141 of 10 June 2023

Action Alliance against Housing Shortage and Urban Degradation, Newsletter 141

OMZ, Vacancy and Palmstraße 19

On the 9th Housing Project Day in VHS Forum am Neumarkt we want to point out a few special housing projects:
a)The project Homeless with a Future (OMZ), which was a beacon of hope in the fight against homelessness.
(Marktstraße -> Gummersbacher Straße -> and maybe Winterberger Straße and following)
b)The idea to use the vacancies for example of the Russian Federation to fight housing shortage for the accommodation of homeless and refugees.
(Friedrich-Engels-Straße 7 / Aachener Straße 240-244 / Classen-Kappelmann-Straße 47)
c)The termination of Cologne’s oldest housing project in Palmstraße 19, which has existed for 50 years, with the help of the own-needs trick.
With it is as always the large rent stop hand. Right on city Cologne is beside the German tenant federation, the DGB, social federations and many other organizations establishment member of this country wide campaign. The campaign demands a six-year stop of rent increases, in order to compile in this time different urgently needed housing laws. We have also communicated this to the organizers of the Wohnprojektetag.
See you on the street on Saturday!

Finally abolish homelessness
Rally on 15.06.2023 at 13:30, Theo Burauen place, city hall.
For the following criticism of the treatment of Eastern European migrant workers in general and the OMZ in particular include the files Action Alliance141c1-9. Please take a look so that you understand how justified the following text.
The closure and eviction of the homeless from the municipal houses in Gummersbacher Straße in Deutz is still making waves. It is clear from the “educational work” of some media that a den of crime has finally been closed here.
It hardly matters that the neediest, the homeless from the EU, are now back on the streets, but it is the bad guys, violent criminals and pimps who have allegedly taken up residence there.
Of course, the OMZ itself is to blame, especially the chairman André Salentin, because he allegedly had the right of the house, but refused to put the lawbreakers on the street.
This account is insufficient for several reasons, wrong for several.
But before we begin to enumerate the individual points and to refute the one-sided portrayal of our social department head Prof. Dr. Rau, a few words about the clientele of the project and their problems.
“Guests” in Gummersbacher Straße 25, as before in the occupied house in Marktstraße, were mainly so-called EU foreigners, but less Dutch, Belgians, Danes or Austrians, but almost exclusively Poles and Romanians.
This group is allowed to enter the country to look for work, but only for 6 months. If they find work, they can stay, if not, they have to leave. But they do not.
Since they are poverty refugees from underdeveloped impoverished EU areas in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, they do not go back, but get by with illegal work and minor crimes, including prostitution.
The problem has been known in Cologne for years, and was covered in detail in the Stadt-Anzeiger in 2018-2020.

Since these people are denied so-called social benefits, they receive no support and are also only accommodated in emergency quarters, such as at the SKM in Vorgebirgsstraße. The city regularly celebrates itself in the Cologne press for this “humanitarian aid”.
What is omitted until today, however, is that the EU was not at all satisfied with these conditions – in its opinion a consequence of the EU expansion.
It therefore set up an aid program in which the city of Cologne participated, because EU funds were available.
This program, under the enticing name “Welcome to Cologne”, provided for a veritable fireworks of measures. The homeless were to be approached by the Ordnungsamt and accompanied to specially set up counseling centers for work, housing, etc., and subsequently placed in jobs and housed in apartments.
A great thing!

But in reality nothing happened, except for the well-known endless “expert rounds” and “action plans”. Because, according to the communication to the Council: “The impoverishment of immigrants from the two EU member states Bulgaria and Romania, which has already been noticeable in the public sphere since 2017, continues to increase. But this also increasingly affects Polish citizens.” It became by all the expensive measures, thus not better, but worse.
The conditions, especially in Vorgebirgsstraße, were so miserable that people fled from there and, under the leadership of André Salentin, occupied a vacant municipal building on the grounds of the nearby wholesale market, Marktstraße 10.
There, in contact with the merciful citizens and predominantly left-wing groups who rushed in, it quickly became apparent that these people had received neither medical care, nor professional counseling, nor language assistance, nor any jobs, let alone the promised apartments. The EU’s money was wasted or misappropriated.

The users of the “humanitarian” facility in the Vorgebirgsstraße were kicked out at 7 a.m. and then had to see how they got through the day. Recognizably, the Winterhilfe in Ostmerheimer Straße and Vorgebirgsstraße now offer all-day stays on all seven days of the week, and the SKM is also in the process of converting multi-bed rooms into single-bed rooms.
No wonder that in this situation alcohol and drugs were perceived by most as a help. Very few can endure life on the streets without alcohol and7or other narcotics.
The worst thing, however, was that the people who came from the Vorgebirgsstraße no longer had any identification papers, because they had all been stolen. Without identity papers, however, they could not even legitimize themselves, the prerequisite for any kind of application,
Where the funds provided by the EU disappeared to, no one knows to say, just as little what the social workers and other consultants paid from it had worked. Through the support of the then SPD candidate for mayor, Andreas Kossiski, who knew the Polish ambassador personally, at least the Poles were able to obtain identity papers again. The money for this was raised privately, since the city had no money for this and no one there cared about this key issue for the intended “integration” solemnly agreed with the EU in the campaign “Welcome to Cologne!
What came from the side of the city, however, was from the beginning the pressure to leave the occupied building again. These efforts, especially of the real estate department Blome and our mayor, were the city’s contribution to the integration of these poverty refugees from the so rich EU.

From the very beginning, there were also criminalized people in this house in Marktstraße, that is, homeless people who sought their livelihood through drug dealing, etc. Even then, once they were finally caught by the police, these people were regularly re-admitted to the house, with the result that they were able to terrorize the residents with impunity. All complaints by project leader André Salentin were brushed aside by the police, just as they were later in the Gummersbacher Straße municipal facility.
This committal to an occupied building by the police is in itself a violation of security and order, which the police are obligated to defend by law, because the police as a regulatory authority cannot in any case commit a citizen to a condition that is itself disorderly, which is obvious in the case of an occupation.
When the city, on behalf of the OB, finally forced the residents to move to the municipal property at Gummersbacher Straße 25, the residents believed that things would get better.
In a so-called “minute” of 10.11.20, in which the promises of the city regarding the building in Gummersbacher Straße 25 are listed, there is the demand of the OMZ chairman André Salentin to transfer the house right to him, so that he can also call the police against perpetrators of violence and expel people from the house in case of gross violations of the house rules.
The demand was rejected on the grounds that “the operator’s responsibility must remain with the housing authority. Only a partial transfer of house authority, however, seems possible.”
This puts in writing what was legally clear anyway: since Mr. Ludwig, the then head of the housing office, had the name and address of all the residents given to him before they moved in, it is a matter of an admission to a municipal emergency shelter, the city is thus responsible for everything that happens in the house.
The claim that it could not intervene because Mr. Salentin allegedly had domiciliary rights is obviously a protective claim to justify the eviction instead of keeping order in the house itself and ensuring the operation of the facility.
The eviction itself and the use of the municipal security service and the police itself proves that the domiciliary right was with the city, otherwise it would have had to terminate the contract of use first.
With this obvious deliberate disinformation, Dezernent Rau has crept out of responsibility for the conditions in Gummersbacher Straße in front of the public in order to mobilize public sentiment against migrant homeless people.
It will stick to some journalists that they printed these untruths despite a counterstatement from our side.
As far as the “criminality” is concerned, the city of Cologne is responsible because, as described, contrary to its commitment in accepting the EU funds, it has done nothing to integrate the migrant residents, as was agreed when the EU funds were allocated under the heading “Welcome to Cologne!
As far as the criminality itself is concerned, it is to be noted that even the social worker in the house demanded by the two OMZ chairmen Andre Salentin and Hans Mörtter was not granted by the city, but only temporarily a social worker OUTSIDE the house, who only advised people seeking advice half a day a week, but without interfering in the conditions in the house.
Nevertheless, through this activity and through the help of e.g. the social counseling of the SSM, more than thirty residents have been placed in apartments during the short period of operation of the OMZ.
It should also be noted that in comparison to the OMZ, for example in the Johanneshaus in Annostraße, there is one social worker for every 12 residents (which the sponsors still feel is too little). In Vorgebirgsstraße, there are only three social workers, but in addition, a security service is employed and video cameras are installed in the corridors around the house. All of these tools have been denied to the OMZ. This is another way in which the city has been complicit in the conditions in Gummersbacher Straße.

In principle, it should be noted that the right to accommodation under regulatory law applies to ALL those in need, including people who have committed criminal or regulatory offences, such as the mentally ill. Offenders, in particular, must have the opportunity to obtain help that will enable them to lead a crime-free life. In order to make this possible, the facilities must be appropriately equipped and protected, but this has not been done in Gummersbacher Strasse and also in Marktstrasse.
As a result of this legal consideration it is to be noted that the city is not alone, but so nevertheless quite predominantly responsible for the conditions criticized by it in the Gummersbacher road.

News about Wallstraße 31

Wolfgang’s and Elke’s lawyer had an appointment with the city of Cologne. The city will not evict the tenants for the time being. The only ones who can change the current status are the landlords by filing a building application. They have already applied for a long time ago, but then withdrew it. Now their lawyer is asking the landlords why they withdrew the building application. In any case, the city of Cologne would very much welcome a new application and would consider it favorably.
Kalle Gerigk

News from Aachener Straße 240 – 244

The administration has reacted very quickly and, after Friedrich-Engels-Strasse, has drawn up a development plan for the second major vacant Russian property in Cologne.

This is the first step for a long lasting expropriation procedure. But it was done quickly after the Lindenthal district council passed a motion to that effect.
Roland Schlüter

To the memory
“7 star hotel” – Ralf Richter plans a hotel for homeless people
Ralf Richter plans hotel for homeless
Seven Stars Hotel e.V.

Broadcasts, messages, news
Gerhart tree and the Kölsche Linda honored
Gerhard Baum and Linda Rennings receive alternative honorary citizenship in Cologne

DW Expropriate plans new petition for a referendum: Taking the law out of the drawer
The expert commission will present its final report before the end of June. If the Senate continues to refuse, a new referendum could follow.!5936256/
Cologne AG suspends membership in housing forum – SPD speaks of housing crisis
Cologne and region lag so far behind in housing construction
Building permits in Cologne slump significantly in 2022
“Real estate investors are buying at yesterday’s prices with tomorrow’s rents”
Commercial and private investors are buying more rented existing properties again, observes Jürgen Michael Schick.

10.06.2023, 11-17 o’clock, living project day in the VHS forum
06/13/2023, 7:30 pm, Thomas Galli: How much prison does the country need? Karl Rahner Academy
15.06.2023, 13:30 Rally before the council meeting
16./17.06.2023, Affordable housing is possible.Mertonstr.26, Frankfurt a.M.
18.06.2023, 14:30, Edelweiss Pirate Festival, Peace Park
26.06.2023, 19:30, 125 years of non-profit housing in Cologne on the right bank of the Rhine.
Dom Forum.
28.06.2023, 18:30 Uhr, Challenge: Finding housing in Cologne. Refugee Center Fliehkraft, Turmstr.3-5, Cologne-Nippes.
17.08.2023, 15:30 Social Committee.
For a city without homelessness
For a city without forced evictions
For a city without drug deaths
For a city without violence against women and children
For a city without deportations
For a city without poverty
June 10, 2023
Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe

Call for donations
To further improve our public relations we need money:
Donation account MachMit! e.V. IBAN: DE53370501981011342704
Intended purpose: Aktionsbündnis

Translated with DeepL

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