Newsletter No 161 of 28 October 2023

Action Alliance against Housing Shortage and Urban Degradation, Newsletter 161

SPD initiates debate about Cologne housing
Our rally in front of City Hall and the Council meeting were in solidarity with the printers laid off by DuMont and their families. How closely job loss and homelessness are linked is sung about not only by the Höhners with “Alles verlore, keen Arbeit, keen Wohnung, keen Jeld”.
Andi Goral of report-k reports on the discussion of the application of the SPD on the housing shortage in the council meeting of 26.10.2023:

Christian Joisten, SPD speaks for housing that now is crisis. Especially against the backdrop of construction activity and the times that planning and construction require and which are becoming longer and longer. The SPD wants urban land to be prioritized for housing. Who wants to establish dwellings to 100 socially promoted on a surface, which gets a ground rent of 0 euro, goes it after the SPD. In addition the SPD demands an urban promotion program over a period of ten years in the volume of a billion euro. Many points such as subsidies for public welfare-oriented actors, factory housing, faster building applications and their processing can be found in the SPD motion.

Christiane Martin, Greens, thanked for taking up the topic and classified this as an early election campaign skirmish. 2025 local elections take place in Cologne. Much is unrealistic of the SPD demands or can already be found in council resolutions. In no case the Greens will renounce a lowering of the efficiency house requirements. Also build, build is not a solution. The Greens want to strengthen certain actors that build low-cost housing, such as the GAG or public welfare-oriented cooperatives. The Greens want to refer the issue to the housing subcommittee.

Niklas Kienitz, CDU pointed out that the problem of housing is well known. He said that the SPD’s motion was an impetus for the debate, which had already begun, for example, in the housing forum. Kienitz illuminated the market environment, such as interest rates, increased construction costs, shortage of skilled workers, etc. Things in the municipality could not be solved. Kienitz recalled the development by urban developers and projects such as Deutzer Hafen or Kreuzfeld where thousands of apartments are to be built. Kienitz explained that Cologne residents have to spend 26 percent of their income on rent on average, which puts Cologne below the average of Berlin or Munich. Kienitz wants a broad debate in the Housing Committee, but also in the Housing Forum. Gladly pact for housing, gladly cross-factional, Kienitz concluded his speech.

Michael Weisenstein, Left, says the housing shortage is bad and the biggest unsolved problem. He says housing policy must be discussed in the council. The Left sees weaknesses and strengths in the SPD motion and therefore expanded the debate contribution. The free market cannot regulate it. The state must intervene. GAG should not only be criticized, but also supported. GAG must renovate and build new buildings. It needs more support through municipal loans and favorable land. In addition the left demands a further housing enterprise for Cologne. Once promoted must remain favorable. Weisenstein calls Austria as model. The true disaster still stands before, so Weisenstein, because alone in 2026 4,000 dwellings are to fall from the social obligation in Cologne. The left demands that municipal enterprises are included in the hereditary lease, otherwise the modern city sells to private investors. Weisenstein said he is pleased that a pact for housing construction is planned for the spring.
The council will discuss the issue further in the housing subcommittee

WDR Lokalzeit – topic housing construction in the cologne city council + dumont printers*innen
here is the link to the broadcast; it starts at minute 3:12:
Our comment:
The council parties can quickly prove how serious they are about fighting the housing shortage by ensuring that the city’s 88% share in GAG is used to stop rent increases. Turning the municipal “Modern City” into a company committed to the common good, and consequently no longer selling municipal land to profit-oriented investors, is another way to convey to the city public that the housing shortage is being seriously ad

For a city without deportations
For years, the end of our newsletter has always included the fact that we are in favor of a city without deportations. We have not yet received any complaints about this. Because of the statement “We have to deport on a grand scale” by Chancellor Scholz, we think it is appropriate to explain why we continue to be for a city without deportations.
Because Olaf Scholz and the SPD gave the impression during the Bundestag election campaign that they were saying goodbye to Hartz IV and the associated increase in poverty in society with “respect” for the voters, the SPD won the election. Since then, however, social inequality has increased and accordingly the approval decreased the traffic light. Because the number of refugees has also increased, the AfD benefited.
Instead of stopping the social cuts and resolutely returning to the promised fight against poverty, Chancellor Scholz votes “We have to deport on a grand scale.”
As of Dec. 31, 2022, 304,308 people in Germany were required to leave the country. However, around 82 percent of those “obliged to leave the country” have a Duldung. This means that they have been asked to leave the country but “cannot be deported for factual or legal reasons. The number of “persons immediately obliged to leave the country” – i.e., persons who are actually irregular – is 56,163 (as of December 2022).
Moving to the right out of fear of the AfD – it doesn’t get any stupider than that in a country that is so dependent on immigration from a government perspective:
The Federal Statistical Office reported in 2016: to maintain the potential labor force at the current level of a good 45 million workers until 2050, this will require net annual immigration of at least 400,000 people.
2021, Detlef Scheele, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Federal Employment Agency, has reiterated this. Germany needs 400,000 migrants per year.
In the Tagesschau of July 3, 2023, it was reported that the economist Schnitzer considers 1.5 million immigrants per year to be necessary.
As the context weekly announced on 21.10.2023, the green members of the state parliament were recommended formulations for the justification of the asylum tightening. To the question “How do they want to deport refugees faster?” the answer should be:
– People whose asylum applications have been rejected, however, must leave – especially rejected asylum seekers who have committed serious crimes.
– That’s why it’s right that we in Baden-Württemberg have set up the Special Task Force for Dangerous Foreigners, which deports dangerous offenders who are obliged to leave the country without red tape.”
Twenty years ago, studies commissioned by then-law-and-order Interior Minister Otto Schily revealed that there was a correlation between the delinquency of refugees and migrants and their residence status. It was demanded that integration efforts be stepped up. Along these lines, penologist Franz von Liszt urged over 100 years ago, “A good social policy is the best criminal policy.”
Slavoj Zizek put in his words what this means for world domestic policy:
“A few years ago, almost unnoticed, the EU made the ominous decision to establish a pan-European border police to seal off the territory of the EU from the outside world in order to prevent the influx of immigrants. This is the truth of globalization: the erection of new walls to protect prosperous Europe from the flood of immigrants. The fundamental divide is between those included in the sphere of prosperity and those excluded from it.
The only real solution is to tear down the real wall, the socioeconomic one; that is, to change society so that people no longer desperately try to escape their world. (S. 41)
( Zizek, Slavoj: (2005): Pure Violence. Incorrect Reflections on New Orleans, France and Related. In: Lettre International, Winter 2005, pp. 36 – 43)
In other words: Those who rely on repression to solve social problems miss the solution and compound the problems.

Rich people are looking for a home – Media echo
Kalle Gerigk: “I am a millionaire with all my heart”.
“Your poverty pisses us off”
Satirical protest in Cologne villa district -background is serious

Cologne City Gazette
“Scandal that the really rich in Cologne have yet to find a world-class home”
Demo through Marienburg and balcony statement at Parkstraße 8
Action alliance against housing shortage and city destruction
We looked for rich people a home

Meeting of people with experiences of poverty
On Thursday, 26.10.2023 the meeting in Berlin ended with a press release. A good one hundred people from all parts of Germany as well as guests from Austria took part, including many people who are involved in the network of the Homeless_Foundation. It is also noteworthy that with Carolin from Frankfurt and Manja from the Eifel two women, who are involved in the network of the Homeless_Foundation, have been elected to the Orga-Team for the preparation of the next meeting of people experiencing poverty.
The answer to homelessness must always be housing.
The topic of housing and combating homelessness occupied – as expected – a large space in the conference. The core demands developed in the workshop were:
– The answer to homelessness must always be housing.
– End vacancy through speculation!
– Functioning rent caps – rents are too high even for the middle class.
– Expand digitization and thus housing access for the homeless as well, for example, through free and always-on internet, electricity access, and help in using it.
– Effectively limit the power of the SchuFa.
– Provide more assistance with rent debt or missing certificates.
You can find the full press release here:
The developed core demands are clear and unambiguous and represent a measuring stick for the National Action Plan to Overcome Homelessness by 2030, which is currently being developed in the Federal Ministry of Housing
(A text by Stefan Schneider of the Homeless Foundation)

Proposal of Cologne cooperatives for a municipal support program

Jörg Frank, former chairman of the Real Estate Committee, has informed us that Cologne cooperatives have approached the Cologne Council parliamentary groups with a proposal for a “Municipal Housing Support Program for Public-Welfare Cooperatives and Projects of the Tenement House Syndicate”.

They require from the council a municipal program in addition to the housing promotion of the country North-Rhine/Westphalia, so that insbesonders “young” associations and cooperatives with little own capital funds can build nevertheless and finally.

The initiative comes from: Mietergenossenschaft eG, Hof der Familie eG, Machbarschaft Köln eG i.Gr. (Petershof), Tausendsechs e.V., Verein Ludolf-Camphausen-Straße 36 e.V. (LC36), WOGE Köln eG Web:

Note: Tausendsechs e.V. refers to the municipal residential building at Bergisch Gladbacher Straße 1006. It was to be sold, but has been saved for social housing. The starting point was the occupation of the house by the SSM and homeless elderly ladies on 3/16/2019. – 20190319_kr_-_house_occupation_bg1006-agreement_instead_of_eviction
The housing cooperatives of Cologne and the surrounding area

Winter aid 2023/2024

Same message as last year – while the homeless become more.

Although the homeless do not want to part with their dogs, no rooms are offered to homeless with dogs. Instead, it is reported again that they can leave their dogs at the shelter. Although it has been known for years that this “offer” is not used at all. That comes, because the responsible persons for this “assistance system” still do not orient themselves at that, which the homeless wish. They regulate and discipline from the top down, and those who don’t follow them are considered to have only themselves to blame.

To read
Tenants’ Echo 436 / October 2023
Fear lives along with the tenants – termination of own use as latent threats
Andrej Holm: Objects of Return. On the housing question and what Engels could not yet know. Karl Dietz Publishing House Berlin
Richard Brox, Albrecht Kieser, Sylvia Rizvi: Germany without a Roof. The new homelessness. Rowohlt Publishing House
Klaus Novy (ed.): Housing Reform in Cologne. History of the building cooperatives. J.P. Bachem Verlag. The book accompanying the exhibition ANDERS LEBEN in the Cologne City Museum from 24.4. to 20.6.1986.

Broadcasts, reports, news
“Home Street Home” in Berlin: Pictures of the End of Homelessness
An exhibition of pictures by Debora Ruppert in the Paul-Löbe-Haus shows deputies precarious living realities on a daily basis. Trial on speculative vacancies – tailwind for tenant protection
The fourth eviction trial against tenants of Habersaathstraße 40-48 does not look good for the owner. The judgement falls in November!5965443/
Vonovia expects rents to rise even as inflation falls
Rolf Buch, CEO of Germany’s largest housing group, on the mechanics of rent indexes, the difficult situation in the real estate market and when he’ll get back into new construction.
LEG to raise rents sharply

Soli-rave for Berlin’s homeless: Now DJs are DJing in an emergency shelter
Dancing where homeless people sleep: With an unusual action, the Berlin City Mission collects donations for the cold aid at Lehrter Straße.


29.10.2023,15 Uhr, Opening of the DRAUSSENSEITER exhibition, Alfred-Schütte-Allee 4
30.10.2023, 8:30 pm Location: Bernd Imgrund: 1,211 Apartments. How Chorweiler was saved from the locusts. Pub Eigenheim Nordstraße 2, corner Neusser Straße.
10/31/2023, 11 a.m., urn burial of Lothar Schmieding, South Cemetery
01 – 10.11.2023 Prison days: homelessness/jail/homelessness
10/26/2023, 3:30pm Council. Also in livestream
10/27/2023, 5-7 p.m., Machbarschaft Petershof – Open Court to get to know each other.
04.11.2023, 12:30 – 17 Uhr, “How can the heat turnaround in housing be socially designed?” Bürgerschaftshaus Bocklemünd, Görlinger-Zentrum 11-15, 50829 Cologne, Germany.

16.11.2023, 3:30 p.m., Social Committee
05.12.2023, 7 p.m., Werner Rügemer: Who owns my living space. Friedensbildungswerk
For a city without homelessness
For a city without 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
October 28, 2023
Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe

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

Translated with DeepL

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