Newsletter No 163 of 11 November 2023

Action alliance against housing shortage and urban destruction, Newsletter 163

Finally abolish homelessness!!!
Several thousand people demonstrated against the housing shortage in Zurich on Saturday. “No profit with land and rent”, “No to the attack on tenancy law”, “Housing for all” could be read on banners. .
The need to take to the streets for the human right to housing has not yet reached this scale in Cologne. At least the council and committees are now addressing the fact that things can’t go on like this. One in ten Cologne residents pays more than 50% of their monthly income on rent.
And all signs point to further increases in rent. The homeless are the hardest hit by the increasing housing shortage.
We are standing for the abolition of homelessness on November 16, 2023 at 3 pm on Theo-Burauen-Platz. The meeting of the Social Affairs Committee, which had already decided on January 14, 2021, in view of the pandemic, to accommodate all homeless people in lockable single rooms, will begin at 3:30 pm. At Thursday’s meeting, the following agenda items will deal with housing and homelessness: 3.1, 4.4, 5.1, 5.5, 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 10.1.1, 10.1.2, 10.6, 10.1.9
10.1.1. is about the accommodation of homeless people with dogs at night. The press release on winter aid again mentions 10 places in the animal shelter in Zollstock, although it has been known for years that homeless people do not part with their dogs and the ten places remain empty.
As the head of the social services department, Mr. Rau, stated in his response to the questions about night-time accommodation, he is aware of this. Nevertheless, ten places in the shelter are being kept free again for the winter of 2023/24 for publicity purposes instead of finally offering homeless people and their dogs rooms again where they can take their dogs. The International Federation operated such a facility in Lüderichstraße until 2019.
To ensure that the city leadership and the council also take action, we will be standing in front of the houses of the Russian Federation in Friedrich-Engels-Straße again at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 18.

The story
In 1931, an apartment at Schliemannstraße 45 in Prenzlauer Berg was to be evicted. After a spontaneous protest by around 300 neighbors, the bailiffs and police had to leave without having achieved anything. The unemployed tenant was able to stay in his apartment. “The workers on the street sang the Internationale”

Abolishing homelessness with Housing First in Cologne
The action plan to abolish homelessness in Cologne is to be adopted at the council meeting on 7.12.2023. Time to recall what we read here in Germany about Housing First in Finland. Finland wants to be a country without homelessness by 2027
Taz 22.02.2023: Housing First in Finland. The right to a home.!5914243/
Tagesschau 19.02.2023: The Finnish concept against homelessness
Hinz & Kunzt 01.08.2022 Finland shows how homelessness can be ended
NZZ 23.09.2021: First an apartment – then everything else
Kontrast 10.11.2020: Finland has made it – almost no more homeless people
Vringstreff e.V. implements Housing First in Cologne:
Housing First was developed by Sam Tsemberis in New York for people with severe mental illness, homelessness and often co-occurring substance abuse

If education and social policy don’t change, things will go downhill.
Sociologist Aladin El-Mafaalani in an interview with the taz newspaper
Integration is still going well under the current conditions. But the framework conditions are deteriorating. The infrastructure, i.e. schools, daycare centers, the healthcare system, is crumbling – and more than that. That’s why we will have problems integrating the same number of immigrants in the future as before. If we don’t do a lot about the infrastructure, we will have to reduce the number. Looking to the future, things don’t look good at all.
You can see at every turn that the infrastructure is not working. People are realizing that things can’t go on like this. I myself am also disappointed at the lack of foresight with which fundamental decisions are made in politics.
It is completely wrong to make savings now. You can only make decisions like this if you haven’t understood the scale of the problem. The federal government, the federal states: we need to invest in education and integration. A special fund worth billions would really make sense. There would still be personnel capacities, albeit limited: in terms of teaching staff that we could additionally deploy in schools, in terms of tradespeople who could rebuild schools. We should at least make the most of this. The labor shortage will soon come to a head. By then at the latest, we will urgently need immigration, but also the corresponding integration infrastructure.!5968033/

International Conference on Social Work and Urban Development, June 2024
“Urban spaces in the digital transformation. Between the smart city of tomorrow and resistant practices”
Digital change is currently shaping cities like no other phenomenon. New technologies are to be harnessed for the efficient and sustainable design of liveable urban spaces and contribute to solving current and future challenges. The smart city of tomorrow stands for the promise of a city for all with a high quality of life and a democratization of urban spaces. A city for all is also a central demand of social work. It is involved in shaping urban spaces and living conditions and, from a theoretical and practical perspective, raises a number of questions about democratic participation, the definition of quality of life and, more fundamentally, social justice.
The 7th International Conference “Urban Development and Social Work” is dedicated to the diverse and often contradictory developments, uses and practices of the digital in order to explore the possibilities and limits of digital change in terms of a just city. The focus is on the following questions:
– How does the digital transformation affect sustainable urban development, participatory democracy and social justice in urban spaces?
– How do digitalization and socio-technical developments influence the current and future planning, management and development of cities?
– What mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion are created by the digitalization of urban spaces? How does socio-technical change affect already marginalized social groups and what new forms of marginalization does it produce?
– What prerequisites and framework conditions are needed to harness the current development of digital technologies for a socially just city?
– What role does social work play in the digital transformation processes of urban spaces? What approaches and methods can it use for this? Where and how can social work make use of the digital transformation?
– How do civil society actors, initiatives and social (protest) movements use the digital? How do they influence urban developments?
– How are digital technologies, infrastructures and tech companies changing coexistence in urban spaces? How do they affect the perception, use and production of cities?
The conference enables a critical examination of questions relating to the digital transformation of urban spaces as well as the playful testing and learning of digital developments and approaches. It is aimed at all interested parties from academia and professional practice who deal with urban and neighborhood development and spatial issues. It is aimed at members of various professions and disciplines such as social work, architecture, urban studies, computer science, civic tech, geography and planning, administration, sociology, economics and art.
We will ensure that the abolition of homelessness is also on the agenda at this conference.

To read
Mike Davis: Fortress L.A.
Authoritarian urbanism

Creation of the Research Network on Homelessness and Assistance in Housing Emergencies
Research Network on Homelessness and Assistance in Housing Emergencies, October 2005

Broadcasts, reports, news
Capital and shelter
New study on the radicalization of Vonovia and Co.: How the interest rate turnaround is further exacerbating the housing crisis
Yields with the rent. How financialized housing companies are taking money out of their tenants’ pockets
The main thing is that shareholders get their returns
Housing groups such as Vonovia, which play by the rules of the financial markets, have no interest in building new apartments, a study shows. They profit from scarcity.
“Not good times for tenants”: North Hesse tenants’ association managing director takes stock
Number of homeless people in Germany rises dramatically
Hundreds of thousands homeless
607,000 people without a home across Germany, tens of thousands homeless
More homeless people in the face of rising rents

Supplement of the jW from 01.11.2023 Fight for housing
Class struggle for the neighborhood
Housing costs are shooting through the roof. Governments are fulfilling their role as abettors of capital. Those who rent are not considered systemically relevant
New Tacheles project: – search engine to find advice, help and legal advice
Plans for the Otto-Langen-Quartier are becoming more concrete
No refuge in the residential tower
The housing crisis is increasing the pressure on support structures for women and children affected by violence. An example from Berlin makes this clear
The finest living space is to be built here – halls are being removed
The Otto-Langen-Quartier in Cologne-Mülheim – at the moment it still looks like a lost place: what will happen to the 4.5-hectare site?
Berlin’s exploding land prices make housing construction unaffordable
Public online lecture series on non-discriminatory housing. University of Trier
The German land market in 2022
Fight against vacancies

13.11.2023, 7 pm, Right to the city, open meeting, Alte Feuerwache community center
14.11.2023, 11 a.m., Book launch: Germany without a roof. The new homelessness.
At the Erik Wickberg House of the Salvation Army in Germany, Café-Bistro Vis à vis, Marienstr. 116-118, 50825 Cologne-Ehrenfeld. Registration: julia.hardenberg at
16.11.2023, 3:30 pm, Social Committee
05.12.2023, 7 pm, Werner Rügemer: Who owns my living space. Peace Education Center
07.12.2023, 2 p.m. Cologne City Council.

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
November 11, 2023
Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe

Appeal for donations
We need money to further improve our public relations work:
Donation account MachMit! e.V. IBAN: DE53370501981011342704
Purpose: Action alliance

We will meet to discuss further actions on Monday, November 13 at 7 p.m. in the open meeting room of the Bürgerzentrum Alte Feuerwache

Translated with DeepL

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