Newsletter No 154 of 09 September 2023

Action Alliance against Housing Shortage and Urban Destruction, Newsletter 154

Against privatisation – private investors – the Winands family – defence against the homeless – substitute imprisonment – housing assistance Cologne – building in the existing stock – kindergarten security – for reading – programmes, reports, news – dates

In our neighbourhood – against privatisation of public space

Flying blind in social housing construction in the federal state of Berlin

The Berlin Tenants’ Association criticises the promotion of private investors; in Cologne it is still hoped that the housing shortage can be solved by promoting private investors:

“New funding for private investors is not very sustainable and comes at the expense of social needs CDU and SPD have long had the dream of inspiring private investors to build social housing. With the black-red coalition coming to power and the new housing subsidy regulations (WFB 2023), they now sense their chance to make this dream a reality.

In order to attract private builders to the subsidised housing segment, which has been spurned for years, the economic efficiency of the subsidies is being improved enormously. After all, yield-oriented investors can only be won over to social housing if the conditions actually yield profits. The state is now digging deep into its pockets to achieve this.

With the WFB 2023, the subsidy expenditure increases to up to 300,000 euros per flat, which is almost six times higher than in 2014. With construction costs of up to 4,200 euros/sqm, this immense use of subsidies means that no additional debt capital has to be raised on the market. From now on, investors will only have to provide the necessary equity capital of 20%, but this will bear a higher interest rate than before due to the lavish use of subsidies. Depending on the funding method, the funding consists of interest-free and low-interest loans from the public investment bank IBB and a non-repayable building cost subsidy of up to 1,800 euros/sqm. Another innovation are the dynamised cost estimates, according to which the subsidies increase almost automatically with rising construction costs. Parliamentary control via the main committee, which previously had to release new funds, was eliminated without replacement. This threatens to turn housing subsidies into a bottomless pit, especially since builders are no longer encouraged to build as cost-effectively as possible.”

6 Heads looking for a home!

Since January, we have been looking for a home for the evicted Winands family – mother and five children – which the city of Cologne has unlawfully denied them until today.

But even the big Cologne housing associations, which had offered the family suitable flats several times, backed out every time they heard about the rumour that the head of the social affairs department, Prof. Dr. Harald Rau, had started in order to divert attention from their own failure: the family had been evicted because they were responsible for a large number of police operations.

In particular, Rau was not prepared to rent and provide a suitable flat for the family as the city itself. Instead, he and his people insisted that the family move away from their familiar surroundings in Porz and move into two-room accommodation in a homeless hotel in Ehrenfeld: many kilometres away from the family’s familiar surroundings in Porz, with school, day care and therapy place for the disabled child.

So the family was left with only the small two-room flat in Porz with just 40 square metres, which a friend of the SSM has made available to the family free of charge for half a year.

Now Jacqueline Winands has made it on her own: she has found a private landlord in Porz for whom the personal impression is more important than the files of Mr. Rau and who provides the family with a 4-room flat with 90 sqm, the costs of which are borne by the Job Centre, because mother Jacqueline has already found employment again.

We wish the Winands family all the best and much happiness and contentment in their new home!
Rainer Kippe, SSM

On 17 January 2023, the Wienands family and their five small children were evicted from their flat at Am Frankenplatz 1.
In Newsletter 121 of 21 January 121 we had written, among other things:

The Winands family is homeless.

The city wants to deport them to a shelter in Ehrenfeld.
But the Winands live in Porz, where their children go to day care and school.

The city does not want to rent anything, but is willing to pay for temporary accommodation – so it is not a question of money!
We reported further in Newsletter 122 of 28 January 2023 and the following: Winands family still waiting for a suitable flat

Translated with (free version)

To ward off homeless people with a grille at the door of a church

writes a loyal supporter of fiftyfifty:

A life on the street is not an adventure, but sheer misery. There were times when “clochards” were glorified in France (and in our country). Boundless freedom coupled with philosophical knowledge, so our self-deception. In fact, they were homeless people who depended on handouts and humanitarian aid to survive. Just like today the people who have to live on the streets in our cities because there is no housing for them. Because we don’t want them in the middle of it. Because they may have failed. Because they may be drinking and taking drugs. But they are people like you and me. They have the same right to be treated with dignity. It’s good that there are aid organisations that care. Who support and assist. Our churches, which preach Christian charity, would in principle be the best helpers and enlighteners. In principle. In Düsseldorf, there is currently an incident that must make us think. The Catholic St. Apollinaris Church has had a grille installed at the entrance to keep out homeless people. The aid organisation for homeless people fiftyfifty in D.-Dorf is dismayed. Instead of helping, people in need of help are excluded there. Instead of granting a roof over life, the door is closed. This is not how we solve problems. We only shift them.

Dirk Hartwich, SPD Rhade

Substitute imprisonment for the poorest of the poor will remain uncut for longer

Johann Voigt in the taz:
Substitute custodial sentences should be shortened, but because of IT problems the reform is postponed. The poorest suffer from the digital failure.

The reform to halve alternative custodial sentences will not come into force on 1 October as planned, but only four months later.
Substitute custodial sentences do not function as a resocialisation measure. They are mere harassment that can drive those affected even further to the margins of society. The message that the inhumane system sends: You are poor, so we lock you up. In a democratic state, the protection of those in need of help should take precedence over software problems, but that doesn’t seem to matter.

Nor, for that matter, does the fact that the alternative custodial sentence is a money-eating machine. One day of imprisonment can cost the state up to 150 euros. So the lack of digitisation and the lame Free State of Bavaria cost the state several million euros. Money that would be much better spent on addiction aid and supporting homeless and homeless people and would ultimately also lead to people driving less without a ticket and stealing food.
The only logical consequence would be to abolish the alternative custodial sentence altogether. And the current case shows one thing above all: the poorest of the poor suffer the most from Germany’s digital failure.!5953200&s=Johann+Voigt/

Housing Assistance Cologne

Support in crises and emergencies Wohnhilfen Köln is there for people from the Kalk district in acute emergency and crisis situations. We support people in need of housing, homelessness, unsecured income, unemployment, debts, separation from their partner or family and in other emergency situations.

Building in the existing stock

There are studies that analyse why, when and how owners renovate – but until now, the planners themselves have never been asked.
Architects for Future therefore wanted to know what prevents colleagues working in planning from renovating, converting and extending existing buildings and what concrete obstacles they face.
The Architects for Future Working Group on Building in Existing Contexts investigated these questions and conducted a survey among female architects from July to September 2020 – with the aim of gaining insights into how the further work of Architects for Future should be oriented in order to promote building in existing contexts, but also to strengthen the content of its own demands “Critically question demolition” and “Renovate existing buildings” and to equip them with a concrete strategy – as well as approaches to solutions.

The Tacheles statement on the basic child allowance is ready.

The summary: The basic child allowance does not bring any significant improvements, in some places it even worsens the situation. It creates a social law sanctioning system for lack of cooperation that is unprecedented in its severity, and the basic child allowance establishes a racist four-class system of entitled and excluded children without German citizenship.

Child poverty is definitely not overcome with this law.
This is the short summary of our evaluation of the basic child allowance.

The statement comprises 26 pages and 53 individual points. A linked background paper with explained sample calculations will only be ready in the course of tomorrow. Here you can download and read the statement:

To read

Kohei Saito: System overthrow: Nature’s victory over capitalism. dtv 2023

“The economic growth of modernity promised us a life of prosperity. However, through the environmental crisis of the Anthropocene, it is becoming clear that, ironically, it is precisely economic growth that is undermining the foundations of human prosperity.”

Programmes, Dispatches, News

Podcast “Expensive Living” receives the German Radio Award 2023.
Why is housing becoming more and more expensive? Who is cashing in? And why are cities helpless? The podcast by and radioeins (rbb) explores these questions using an example from Berlin. The team led by Steen Lorenzen and Stephan Ziegert received the German Radio Award 2023 in the category “Best Reportage” for their podcast series on the complex problems on the housing market.,bestereportage104.html

Vonovia case continues to move

Shortly after moving out: Cologne family goes back to mould hell

“An flat is not a share package” Kalle Gerigk spoke to Daniel Diekmann of the Berlin Habersaathstraße community of interests about the destruction of flats by the owner..:

Experiment: Unconditional cash payments reduced homelessness quickly and unbureaucratically

“Housing First” in Stuttgart: Project provides housing for homeless people

Rising credit costs, expensive materials and a chaotic funding policy: hardly anyone builds new flats or houses any more. Building contractors are left behind who no longer know what to do next.

Are you still sitting or already living?

Prisons do not serve their purpose, say Helene De Vos and Veronique Aicha. They want people who have committed crimes to be housed in sheltered housing.


09.09.2023, 1-6 p.m., Monument Day at the SSM in the Hall on the Rhine, Im Faulbach

09.09.2023, 13:30, Demo Asylrecht statt Unrecht, Roncalliplatz

09.09.2023, 8pm, Where to go with Kurt? Film about 3 homeless people, Ebertplatz

11.09.2023, Day of the Homeless

13-17.09.2023 Open network meeting of the homeless foundation in Dinslaken

15.09.2023, Climate strike

17.09.2023, from 10am Day of Good Living in Nippes, Mauenheimer Straße

10.10.2023 World Homeless Day

17.10.2023, 7 p.m., Book launch “Trapped & Homeless”, Karl Rahner Academy

21.10.2023, 11:11 am,. Rich people looking for a home. Satirical demo on vacant mansions in Marienburg, together with the Pappnasen rotschwarz.

01 – 10.11.2023 Prison Days: Homelessness/jail/homelessness.

05.12.2023, 7 pm, Werner Rügemer: Who owns my living space. Friedensbildungswerk

For a city without homelessness
For a city without 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 September 2023

Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe

Appeal for donations
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Donation account MachMit! e.V. IBAN: DE53370501981011342704
Intended purpose: Aktionsbündnis

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