Newsletter No 166 of 02 December 2023

Action alliance against housing shortage and urban destruction, Newsletter 166

Vigil against vacancies in front of the building at Kalker Hauptstraße 88

Saturday, December 2, 2023, from 11 a.m.

Why do people live on the street? In Cologne, Mayor Reker and Social Affairs Director Rau have been saying for years: “Nobody has to live on the streets in Cologne.” Alexander Koop, Head of the Social Participation Department of the City of Hanover, in an NDR program on winter aid: “Why do people want to live on the street? Probably because the conditions you get are not ideal. We have to work on that.”,ndrinforedezeit368.html

The residential and commercial building at Kalker Hauptstr.88 is a listed building, it is part of Cologne’s list of monuments, No.4094

In response to a citizen’s question “How much longer do we have to put up with this eyesore and wait for new apartments, even if there are only a few?”

the Kalk district council replied on 7.12.2017: “The holder of a building permit is free to decide whether, when and how the construction work on the first floor or any new building application is carried out within the scope of the power of disposition under Article 14 of the Basic Law (GG). It is therefore not currently possible to intervene under public law to force the building work to continue.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the floors from the 1st floor upwards have so far been approved as living space. Therefore, the question of creating new apartments does not currently arise here.”

Article 14 of the Basic Law not only states that ownership is guaranteed, it also states that ownership is an obligation: “Its use shall at the same time serve the common good.”

Instead of confiscating the apartments in Kalker Hauptstr. 88 for the homeless people living in the street and setting up a warming room in the Lodenlokal, the homeless are being harassed:

“City and AWB clear homeless square and throw away their belongings”

After the brutal evictions, “soft” measures were used. Where the homeless could camp under the canopy in front of the dm, protected from the rain, there are now flower tubs to displace them:

In the city, where the homeless are not housed in lockable single rooms in a humane manner, some see the city’s rigid approach to the homeless as an invitation to commit assaults:

Homeless man beaten up and robbed in Kalk

“Finally abolish homelessness” vigil

On December 7, 2023, we will be on Theo-Burauen-Platz at 1:30 pm. The council meeting starts at 2 pm.

In August, the Eigelstein Citizens’ Association reported:

“The head of the Cologne Social Welfare Office, Dr. Katja Robinson, explained the “Cologne Concept for Combating Homelessness” currently being developed by the Homelessness Policy Working Group to the “Bündnis Innenstadt” homelessness working group in the “Veedelszimmer Eigelstein”. The concept is currently undergoing final coordination in the social services department and is due to be discussed by the council on December 7.

The deadline was not met. It is now said that the “Cologne concept for combating homelessness” will be presented at the council meeting in February 2024.

While the city councils in Düsseldorf and Wiesbaden have long since decided to waive criminal charges for driving without a ticket, discussions are still ongoing in Cologne:

Item 3.1.1 Waiving charges for fare evasion

With regard to the following item, it remains to be seen whether the Council will take the opportunity to develop Modernes Köln GmbH into an additional municipal non-profit housing association.

Item 10.7 Modernes Köln GmbH. Liquidation

The Council is also called upon here:

The Otto Lange Quarter is falling into disrepair.

The initiative for a public welfare-oriented development of the quarter was featured in the Lokalzeit on 29.11.2023 from minute 6:35 onwards

Podcasts on the housing issue

The new podcast “Häuserkampf” explains the German housing crisis based on a squat in Berlin. It’s a housing policy thriller.!5972130/

Podcast Häuserkampf – a record wants to stay

Schöner Wohnen – The podcast on housing issues

Podcast Expensive living

Homelessness and immigration

“Identification with values of living together”

Politicians, artists, entrepreneurs and refugees have these suggestions for migration

“Values” is the most frequently used word in the special pages of the Kölner Stadtanzeiger. Anyone who recognizes the inviolability of the dignity of all people as the highest value, as formulated in Article 1 of the German Basic Law, must face up to the fact of how little the much-invoked values have been redeemed in view of the deaths at the external borders and the misery of the homeless on the streets.

Claus-Ulrich Prölß; “The problem is not migration as such – Germany also needs immigration to maintain its economic strength – the problem is broken infrastructure, housing shortages and the growth of poverty. These are the most pressing issues, visible everywhere, and urgent action is needed!”

It is a shame that he did not follow up on what he declared on 13 November 2018: “Because we cannot expect marginalized, impoverished and frightened population groups to show solidarity with refugees if we ignore the issue of social justice and the demand for equality.”

Despite all the criticism of the state and the city, Alan Zibar, who fled Syria in 2014, summed it up very well: “If you don’t have people to help you privately, you won’t get anywhere in Germany.”

Conference “Universal, indivisible and indispensable”

75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Panel 4: Social inequality in times of social crisis: The example of homelessness

Homelessness in Germany has many faces: people live on the streets, spend the night on friends’ sofas or are forced to live in emergency accommodation for months or even years. This is not just a blatant violation of the right to housing. Homeless people are also massively restricted in many other human rights, such as the right to protection from violence, the right to health and the right to privacy. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is clear: the state must guarantee human rights for all people, including and especially for those who are homeless. Human rights are inalienable and indivisible. What exactly does that mean? We will discuss this with the panelists: What are the perspectives of homeless people, of the support system, of politics on these rights violations? What is needed – apart from housing – to help homeless people gain their rights? And what current developments give cause for concern, but also for hope?

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The eighth issue of our urban policy magazine Común has been published.

We counter the multiple crises with a multiple continuation. This time, we focus on participation, cooperation and self-organization in urban development. You can find the blog overview of the new Común here: 

Building culture report 2022/23

Bernd Imgrund: 1211 apartments. How Chorweiler was saved from the locusts. Greven Verlag

Broadcasts, reports, news

Lokalzeit from Cologne on 30.11.2023: after a fair contribution about “Give Peace a Chance” by Arsch Huh on Sunday at 3 pm at Aachener Weiher, a contribution about homelessness in Cologne follows from minute 15:30

“It’s about unused living space”

Building is expensive, harmful to the environment and promotes division, says economist Daniel Fuhrhop. Alternatives to new construction are needed.!5971526&s=Jasmin+Kalarickal/

Too little social housing: Yesterday’s mistakes

Apartments have been falling out of social housing for years. As a result, the housing shortage is becoming dramatic, especially for poorer people. The traffic light coalition is doing too little about it.!5947927/

Europe-wide survey on housing policy Solving the housing crisis – but how?

Protection for homeless women: Most of the time the bed is already gone

Homeless women are accommodated in a Berlin hostel. Visiting: The Minister of Construction, who is working on an action plan against homelessness.!5972941/

Homeless man finds an apartment – after 36 years on the street,wohnungslos154.html

Homelessness rises with rents – more and more people affected

Homelessness: City evicts homeless people from their dormitories

Protection from cold death – offers for homeless people in the Palatinate

No longer invisible in death: How a homeless man from Hanau is buried

5.5 million people do not have adequate heating due to lack of money

Millions of people cannot afford to keep their homes adequately warm. The number has doubled compared to 2021.

Emergency accommodation closed: Moving out into the unknown

One of two “24/7 emergency shelters” for homeless people is closing, an alternative has failed. The city mission rejects criticism.!5977095/

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02.12.2023, 11 a.m. vigil against vacancies, Kalker Hauptstr.88

03.12.2023, 3-5 pm, Give Peace a Chance. Aachener Weiher

04.12.2023, 7 pm, Right to the city. Open meeting, community center Alte Feuerwache

04.12.2023, 19:30, How much stock does the stock have. Cathedral Forum

05.12.2023, 7 pm, Werner Rügemer: Who owns my living space. Peace Education Center

07.12.2023, 2 p.m. Council of the City of Cologne.

10.12.2023, 10 a.m. Human Rights Day, service in the Antoniterkirche with a speech by Gerhart Baum

10.12.2023, 11:30 Opening of the exhibition “My name is human” by Jochen Stankowski at the Karl Rahner Academy

21.01.2024, 18 – 19;30, Day of remembrance for the victims of the Nazis

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

December 2, 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

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