Action alliance against housing shortage and urban destruction, Newsletter 164
Protest rally against vacancies
November 18, 2023 from 11 a.m. Friedrich-Engels-Str.7, 50937 Cologne
Susanne Esch wrote about the vacancy of the Russian Federation houses in Cologne-Lindenthal in the Stadt-Anzeiger at the end of October: https://www.ksta.de/koeln/lindenthal/lindenthal-veedel/koeln-lindenthal-stadt-hat-plan-fuer-russisches-geisterhaus-672619
On Saturday, we let Roland Schüler from the district council and Erich Bethe from the Bethe Foundation have their say, clarifying what was written in the Stadt-Anzeiger.
In view of the large number of homeless people and the inadequate and not always suitable places to house them, we want to emphasize our demand for the immediate expropriation of the houses. The city must get the homeless off the streets and if it cannot offer them apartments, then at least lockable single rooms. The many vacancies in residential and office buildings provide this.
At the end of October, three teenagers aged 14 and 15 killed a homeless man in Horn-Bad-Meinberg in North Rhine-Westphalia. Nationwide, more than 20 homeless people are killed every year by people who have an apartment.
Political scientist Martin Stammler explains what he believes is behind this hate violence against homeless people. The causes also lie in the social discourse. Stammler therefore uses his educational work to promote greater sensitivity and a culture of looking at things: “Language forms and creates a reality, stereotypical devaluations can lead to violence.”
He does not deal with factual devaluation and repression. Defensive architecture (“anti-homeless architecture”) is used in cities and communities to publicly demonstrate for all to see who is unwanted.
The city and welfare organizations are actively working to destabilize the homeless by accommodating them in multi-bed rooms with the doors hung open.
The political scientist Martin Stammler cannot think of the simplest thing to call for the abolition of homelessness, the immediate placement of all homeless people in lockable single rooms and apartments.
What the political scientist “overlooks” is that, because the state lets homeless people lie neglected on the streets instead of providing them with housing, some see this as a signal that homeless people are outlaws, fair game. We are therefore calling for the Cologne assistance system to be replaced by Housing First. First of all, all homeless people must be housed in apartments, then it also makes sense to work pedagogically with those who need it.
Basic Law Article 1 (1) Human dignity is inviolable. It is the duty of all state authorities to respect and protect it. (2) The German people therefore acknowledge inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every human community, of peace and of justice in the world.
What homelessness feels like by Christa Schliebs
Relatively naive Felix (“Tomatolix”) – a young Youtuber does a self-experiment from 18.11.2018: “24 hours homeless – the self-experiment”… Take a look if you like:
He spends this day in Cologne with Nicole, who was able to move into an apartment after years of homelessness and accompanies him. Colin Emde from Offroad Kids, whom we know, is also interviewed. He criticizes the gaps in the social system (transition between youth welfare and job center) and draws attention to the website https://sofahopper.de.
At first, scrounging and collecting returnable bottles feels more like an adventure for Felix, but in the evening it gets more difficult from hour to hour…
But at night (minute 15) he says: “Dude, this is really much harder than I thought it would be. It’s super cold at one point, okay, that’s clear. Then it’s super uncomfortable on this hard floor. Then I’m really hungry, had to pee a lot and you can hear noises all the time — it’s just really busy, … well, not so pleasant I have to say.”
And ” It’s now half past six in the morning. And we’ve been woken up a bit because the first people are already going to work here and there are already a few cars around..uh.
Nicole: “It’s cold”. Felix: “It’s mega cold. And I slept really badly – I have the feeling that I didn’t sleep at all or I somehow, I don’t know, slept for an hour and spent the rest half awake, dozing around somehow. Oh God, really not a restful sleep.”
Unfortunately, the résumé – extremely boring hanging around on the street, that it’s super uncomfortable to sleep outside in the cold season… that people don’t really notice you “- lacks a political demand for the elimination of homelessness … Felix donated part of the proceeds to the Off Road Kids.
And here is a movie tip on youtube about Günter Wallraff’s experience of homelessness: “Undercover – Unter Null (Life on the street, homeless) in Cologne in 2008. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhdESxM6EL8
Female, homeless, invisible
On sale now:
Richard Brox (ed.): Germany without a roof. The new homelessness, rororo https://www.rowohlt.de/buch/deutschland-ohne-dach-9783499011405
modernes köln Gesellschaft für Stadtentwicklung mbH – Conversion instead of liquidation An interjection by Jörg Frank on the housing policy debate in Cologne
In recent times, various political forces have spoken out in favor of founding a housing company to be managed exclusively by the city in order to create social housing, including BUND Köln, various civil society initiatives such as Arche für Obdachlose e.V., and more recently the SPD.
Civil society advocates do not position such a company as being in opposition to GAG Immobilien AG, but as a necessary addition. As is well known, GAG is limited in its scope for action due to its character as a public limited company and its shareholder structure.
For a city without violence against women and children
How serious the situation in women’s shelters is: Most women’s shelters were regularly full in 2022. A data analysis by CORRECTIV.Lokal shows for the first time how difficult it is for women affected by violence to find a free place.
In the coalition agreement, the current federal government stated that “the support system will be expanded in line with demand”. It also agreed on a “uniform national legal framework for reliable funding of women’s shelters”. This has not yet happened.
The Istanbul Convention, which is fully applicable in Germany, stipulates that 2.5 places per 10,000 inhabitants should be provided in a women’s shelter – for a woman and her children. A total of 21,100 places would therefore be required, but only 6,800 are currently available. There is therefore a shortfall of 14,300 places.
“More than just a roof over your head. Housing has history”
Over 5,600 children and young people took part in the Federal President’s 28th history competition “More than a roof over your head. Housing has history” – the projects of the winning pupils from Baden-Württemberg, Berlin, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia focused on housing in workers’ housing estates in the Ruhr region, the large housing estate in Hanover-Mühlenberg, the Nazi past of a tenants’ and building association, the Republic of Poland in Emsland and the repossession of houses in the territory of the GDR after reunification in 1989/1990. The five projects are presented in short videos:
Christian Sperneac Wolfer: The multiple precariousness of Romanian construction workers in Germany
“Southeast European misery migration in Cologne” – Research report May 2013
Reporting year 2016: The situation of homeless women and women at risk of homelessness in the city of Cologne
Reporting year 2018: The situation of homeless women and women at risk of homelessness in the city of Cologne
Cologne needs to take a break
The figures clearly show that Cologne’s public toilets do not meet the requirements of a major city. The “Köln muss mal” campaign aims to change this by visualizing the situation of Cologne’s public sanitary facilities and giving them social space.
Broadcasts, reports, news
Abolish poverty. Event at the Paritätischer Köln on 15.11.2023 in the Forum of the VHS
Fight against housing shortage
Scholz wants to build new districts “like in the 1970s”
The Federal Chancellor is calling for 20 new districts to be built to create more living space. Building on greenfield sites has not been wanted in recent years, but it is necessary.
Image: 300,000 jobs lost in the construction industry
Welcome to the building cooperative mehr als wohnen
Social welfare facilities for homeless and homeless people are working at the limit
Homelessness: How Germany wants to end it by 2030
There will be no more homeless people by 2030! The EU has set itself the goal of housing all homeless people. That sounds like a good plan, which is also included in the coalition agreement. But when you step outside the door, the reality looks very different. Can the plan still be achieved in seven years’ time? We meet people who are being evicted and living on the streets and ask the state secretary responsible what exactly is planned. A film by Susanne Blank and Gunnar Krupp Camera: Gunnar Krupp, Sulaiman Tadmory, Han Park, Alena Jabarine Editing: David Diwiak, Gunnar Krupp Graphics: Jakob Rompkowski
USA: Baby Boomer, homeless | ARTE Reportage
Berlin: Collaboration on mini-homes on the brink of collapse
City of Cologne plans renewal of the “Auf dem Ginsterberg” housing estate
The business of homelessness: Why homeless people have to pay so much for accommodation
18.11.2023, 11 a.m., rally against vacancies, Friedrich-Engels-Str.7
18.11.2023, 2 pm, I am affected by poverty, Breslauer Platz
04.12.2023, 7 pm, Right to the city. Open meeting, Alte Feuerwache community center
05.12.2023, 7 p.m., 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 18, 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, December 4 at 7 pm in the open meeting room of the Bürgerzentrum Alte Feuerwache
Translated with DeepL