Newsletter No 147 of 22 July 2023

Action Alliance against Housing Shortage and Urban Degradation, Newsletter 147

70,000 apartments missing in Cologne
The local time Cologne of the WDR addressed this on July 19, 2023: “The biggest problem is and remains new affordable housing.” From minute 7:40—2508.html
Unmentioned was the current number of homeless counted in Cologne: 12,580. 4000 of them come from Ukraine.

In the local time Hans Jörg Depel of the Cologne tenant association came as the first to word: In Cologne it takes unbelievably long, until building applications are worked on. They are lying there. There is no consensus. Hamburg has set itself a certain target: 10,000 apartments a year, 3,000 of them publicly funded. Cologne has something similar: 6,000 apartments a year, 1,000 of them publicly funded. But Cologne hasn’t met those goals, and I doubt they’ll meet them in the next few years.”
It would have been interesting for the program to ask Andreas Kossiski at this point, who as an SPD candidate in the OB election campaign promised to have 10,000 apartments built annually in Cologne. He must have had something in mind, and what, no one in the city seems to want to know.
Konrad Adenauer of the house and landowner association could express as next its suggestions: Who wants, which can also, one could make very much more, than the city Cologne does. I think it is not only a question of finances. In Cologne, we also need the willingness of all the subdivisions involved to make building land available. There are so many brownfield sites in Cologne, mostly old industrial sites. You can build there if you want to, and very quickly. You just have to be willing to repurpose land.”
Hans Jörg Depel: This has been an issue in Cologne for 40 years. In 2024, the new Kreuzfeldt district was supposed to be started, and now there are discussions again about whether that really has to be the case.
Konrad Adenauer: Unfortunately, the green master plan that the Council has adopted is not in favor of this, because many areas that have been parked under “green” are not to be built on. That doesn’t work, you can’t get anywhere.
Markus Greitemann, head of the building department: “This is definitely only possible in a triad. Housing industry, politics and administration must be united in their actions, in their priorities and in the framework conditions, which means that in the future we must put all framework conditions to the test, but in threes.
Abmoderation: Only together, we always conjured up, but that is for years so. But the pressure to build more new homes faster is getting greater.
Afterwards, we interviewed architect Yasemin Utku, who is a professor of urban planning and design at the Technical University of Cologne. She takes a critical view of new construction. In view of the rise in building costs, she recommends concentrating on existing buildings. Because we already have a high building density, she says, existing open spaces should be preserved for climate reasons.
On Monday, July 17, 2023, the Stadt-Anzeiger had reported on the increase in the number of homeless people in NRW. Social researcher Thomas Münch cannot see that the city administration is in any way counteracting the housing shortage. A current example for him is the helplessness with which the rent increases of the city-owned housing company GAG are reacted. The housing shortage increases the pressure on the homeless who live on the streets. The homeless, who did not feature at all in Local Time, are the biggest loser in Cologne’s housing policy. With Housing First, there is a way out of this misery, but there are not enough funds for it. The Vringstreff could hand over so far only 15 homeless ones thereby lease and housing key. Thomas Münch criticizes the hesitancy with which the city meets the vacancy in view of the plight of the homeless. Its conclusion: “The city must take finally times money into the hand and create its own housing company with the goal of building exclusively social dwellings. Housing for disadvantaged population groups must no longer be left to the free market.”
On the development on the so-called free housing market, Der Spiegel reports:
Dramatically fewer building permits
Researchers expect only 177,000 new apartments in 2024
400,000 new apartments a year – that’s the target the German government has set itself. But it will probably not even reach half of it in 2024. Permits issued have already been collapsing for months.

“Homelessness in Berlin – current situation, perspectives, outlook”.
Dear ladies and gentlemen, dear friends!
On 14.08. the next online program of the Robert-Tillmanns-Haus on the topic of homelessness will take place (10:00-13:15, including break). The event will include:
* Review of events/developments over the past six months.
* “Berlin Heat Help” update
* Interview about the homeless meeting 2023
* Short film on the current situation in the informal settlement “Teepeeland”.
* Feature about homelessness in New York
* A look at current publications on the topic
Participants can contribute during the program via request to speak, mail, SMS or chat mode. The registration fee is five euros. Upon request, participants will receive a free copy of our forthcoming publication “Homeless in the Metropolises: New York, London and Berlin in Comparison” or a copy of our booklet “Corona hit like a bomb!” about the situation of Berlin homeless people during the pandemic.
Please send applications to:
We would appreciate if you could forward this message to possibly interested persons/institutions!

To read
Christian Glantschnigg: The City of Exclusion. Processes and Means of Displacement from Public Spaces in the City of Vienna. Diploma thesis, University of Vienna 2011
Christiane Droste: Discrimination in the housing market: possibilities for intervention in Berlin.
Sebastian Schipper, Justin Kadi, Barbara Schoenig: Housing for All?! Perspectives on Planning, Politics and Architecture

broadcasts, messages, news
FREELY ROOFLESS: Why André prefers a life on the street |
Squatted Apartment in Neukölln: Neighborhood Solidarity
At Hermannstraße 48, activists defend themselves against displacement by the office plans of the new owner.
Union for Homeless Rights: “We will not be ignored”.
The Union for Homeless Rights thrives on the diversity of different living situations
Heat in Germany: Homeless aid demands better protection of homeless people
Cologne SPD reignites rent increase debate around GAG

09.08.2023, 12 – 16 h, OASE summer festival, Alfred Schütte Allee 4
15.08.2023, 7 p.m., The city and its homeless. House of Architecture. Josef-Haubrich-Hof 2
17.08.2023, 15:30 Social Committee
07.09.2023, 15:30 Cologne City Council
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
July 22, 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

This website is using cookies to improve the user-friendliness. You agree by using the website further.

Social Share Buttons and Icons powered by Ultimatelysocial