Action alliance against housing shortage and urban destruction, Newsletter 167
Demonstration against vacancy of GAG apartments in Stammheim-Süd
Saturday, December 16, 2023 from Ricarda Huch Str.31 to Elias Gut Straße 17
In our last newsletter, we published Bernd Imgrund’s book “1211 Wohnungen. How Chorweiler was saved from the locusts” in our last newsletter. By purchasing these apartments, GAG has prevented further neglect by profit-oriented investors. The foreword states: “It could serve as a model for how to manage social housing in a truly social way.” 30 years ago, 20% of all rental apartments in Cologne were still non-profit and removed from the free profit market. Now it is only 6%. To overcome the housing shortage, the proportion of non-profit housing must return to 20% and then increase further. In the model city of Vienna, over 60% of apartments are non-profit. The praise for GAG in Bernd Imgrund’s book has its limits. The then Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Jochen Ott, reports how he was treated with hostility by the small shareholders. This is also an argument for a second, 100% non-profit housing association in Cologne.
The profit-oriented GAG was rightly criticized for its rent increases.
Many apartments in the Stammheim GAG redevelopment area are empty. Mülheim’s left-wing parties are now asking what the future holds for the estate.
The Mülheim district council approved this motion on 27.1.2023: “Review to make vacant apartments in the GAG housing estate Cologne-Stammheim/ Moses-Hess-Straße, Adolf-Kober-Straße, Georg-Breuer-Straße, Elias-Gut-Straße etc. habitable for people looking for housing, homeless people, homeless people and refugees after all Joint motion by the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen parliamentary group, the DIE LINKE parliamentary group and the individual mandate holder Altefrohne (Die PARTEI)”
It remains to be seen how the city administration will deal with this inspection request. GAG boldly claims that re-letting the vacant apartments is “disproportionate and not economically viable.”
It remains to be seen what situation we are in:
Homelessness in winter: The social cold
Winter can quickly become fatal for homeless people. Help for those affected would be possible – but politicians would have to want it.
Extreme winter weather: homelessness charity calls for more help
“You’ll never walk alone” – “You will not go through the future alone”, Scholz then translated how he understands state solidarity with all population groups. Get stuck in and overcome the crisis.
Everyone can see the value of the Chancellor’s words every day as they walk past homeless people trying to survive on the streets.
We don’t want to watch them die.
Two hours in the subway shaft with Tülün by Christiane Niesel
A completely normal, abnormal Wednesday evening on the subway line 1/9
Direction city center Kalk Post – unfortunately a true story
On the way back today from my day’s errands (demonstrating for the abolition of the substitute custodial sentence or exemption from punishment for evasion of benefits, eating potato cookies, meeting my colleague, visiting a friend) I get off at the underground station and a pile of sleeping bags is tucked under a subway seat, Tülün is lying in the pile of sleeping bags. I speak to her. I already knew Tülün from Kalk Post.
I spent 2 hours with Tülün today, brought her soup, ate and talked to her, called the emergency number for homeless people, ordered a cab for the emergency shelter (this service is available in Cologne, phone number 0221 25974244) Tülün would have been picked up by a cab and taken to a women’s emergency shelter – I canceled the service again – Tülün didn’t want to go to an emergency shelter – I saw 20 people during this time who wouldn’t let me make a phone call, I experienced that Tülün would have been robbed if I hadn’t intervened massively – I experienced that at least 10 other homeless people and/or drug addicts walked through the track during this time. Tülün was given an umbrella, some Christmas snacks and a new blanket – Tülü told me a lot. She is homeless, was in police custody (PG) for about five hours today because she had no toilet and peed in front of the Aldi in Cologne Kalk, she was locked up for it, so she couldn’t visit her social worker, she’ll try the social worker again tomorrow – Tülün wanted to go to the subway shaft to Appellhofplatz – it’s a bit warmer there – I wish her all the luck in the world – hopefully I’ll see her again.
Church property – not a Christmas story
Together, the two churches own almost 830,000 hectares of land in Germany. This makes them the largest landowners in the country.
The richest diocese in Germany is the Archdiocese of Munich-Freising with assets of 5.5 billion euros. Paderborn (4.2 billion euros) and Cologne (3.4 billion euros) can only just keep up. Berlin is in mid-table with 590 million euros.
Ralf Hutter: The landlord gives it, the landlord takes it
Greed for profit and displacement in the Christian real estate business
Christian housing companies claim to be more socially responsible than other players in the sector. Journalist Ralf Hutter has now for the first time compiled cases of antisocial behavior by real estate companies acting on behalf of the major churches, Catholic orders or Protestant foundations. The stories are mainly set in Berlin, Cologne and Düsseldorf, but Austria and Greifswald are also featured.
The Christian real estate sector is also plagued by normal grievances: poor reactions to reports of defects, threatening rent increases due to energy modernization, terminations, excessive rents, gentrification. Hutter also shows how church-owned housing companies have increased their wealth over the last ten years in parallel with the growth of the German housing crisis.
By taking a detailed look at the human side of the grievances on the metropolitan real estate markets, this book is an important contribution to the current debates on church privileges and housing policy.
Published by Alibri, 2023 ISBN 978-3-86569-389-1
Miriam Meuth, Christian Reutlinger: De-tenanted and displaced. How tenants experience their loss of housing. transcript
Mickaël Labbé misses the urban in the gentrified city
The philosopher Mickaël Labbé calls for cities to be given to the people who live there. In his polemic “Platz nehmen” (Take a seat), he opposes architecture that pushes certain population groups out of public spaces. The author also has ideas for an inclusive city.
Broadcasts, reports, news
Film “Being sick makes you poor – being poor makes you sick”
Searching for a way out of the vicious circle
FAQ: We answer your questions about Techem
The most frequently asked questions about Techem solutions for real estate – from heating cost billing, wireless smoke alarms and wireless measuring devices to our real estate services and legal topics.
Slump in construction and housing
After two years of traffic light, the DGB and tenants’ association draw a sad conclusion: the federal government has delivered little in terms of housing policy.
The cold bus of the Friends of Cologne Streets
Benko and the failure of the state
The Union Investment Group is also involved, a subsidiary of the Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, i.e. cooperative banks. What a mockery, as these were once founded to provide financial self-help for small people.
Emergency shelter N8 for girls in Cologne-Mülheim
Bayenthal: Housing project instead of park? Citizens’ association shows a clear edge
30,000 euros in rent debt
Despite hard work – refugees in Cologne in great need
Rent increased! What can you do?
How tenants in Cologne can take action against the increase
Tear down – A slab wants to stay
Thrown out the door
Tens of thousands of evictions every year. Initiative speaks of “act of barbarism”. Left demands ban
How to make housing affordable again
Rent madness: activist launches frontal attack against Vonovia
Tenant activist Knut Unger motivates Vonovia tenants nationwide to launch a frontal attack on utility bills
Johanna, 20: “I sleep on the floor in a company’s conference room because I can’t find an apartment”
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator