Newsletter No 171 of 06 January 2024

Action alliance against housing shortage and urban destruction, Newsletter 171

Protest against vacancies in GAG apartments and rent increases

Saturday, January 6, 2024, 11 am. Ricarda Huch Str.31

Kalle Gerigk has not only registered the rally on Saturday, 6 January, but also for Saturday, 13 January 2024. We not only want to scandalize the city society with the fact that the apartments in buildings 5 – 13 in Elias Gut Strasse are empty, while the number of homeless people on the streets in the city is increasing. We also want to appeal to the Council and persuade the party representatives on the Supervisory Board to arrange for the vacant apartments to be opened up to homeless people and other homeless people.

A “Cologne faction” (Rainer Kippe) in the Council has made it possible to instruct the KVB to stop issuing notices so that homeless people no longer have to go to prison for driving without a ticket.

In its New Year’s greeting, the GAG board is self-righteous and full of self-praise without any reference to the housing shortage in the city, to the consequences of rent increases for tenants and without any willingness to open up vacant properties to the homeless:

“Dear all…

After a relaxing and enjoyable holiday season, we are now starting the new year together and with fresh energy! Above all, we are encouraged by the fact that the many challenges that characterized the past year have shown that GAG as a company and the housing industry in general are still a stable anchor and that we can stand firm even in stormy times. We are therefore looking forward to 2024 with optimism and anticipation, despite the adverse circumstances.

Offering Cologne’s residents housing at socially appropriate conditions is our founding principle and is firmly anchored in our articles of association. We see it as part of our identity. That is why we are confident that we can master all challenges today and in the future: with environmentally friendly construction and modernization projects. With stable and diverse neighborhoods. With modern and innovative solutions. With high service quality. And with our employees, who bring all this to life day after day.

You are cordially invited to continue to accompany us on this journey. Together we can shape the future, take advantage of opportunities and exploit our potential.

We would like to thank you for your partnership and your trust in GAG Immobilien AG.

We wish you and your families a happy new year, health, happiness and success.

Your GAG Immobilien AG

Anne Keilholz (Member of the Management Board) and Kathrin Möller (Member of the Management Board)

and all the employees with whom you have worked together in a spirit of trust over the past few months”

On August 18, 2023, we symbolically laid the once social GAG to rest in front of the GAG headquarters on Straße des 17. The GAG Management Board is deluding itself if it thinks it can get away with claiming “socially appropriate conditions” in its New Year’s message, while those affected have a very different experience. In the Stadt-Anzeiger’s annual review, the Supervisory Board and Management Board of GAG were able to read that their image has suffered considerably over the past year.

On the same day, the Express reported on our last rally and what the participants thought of GAG’s refusal to open the vacant space to homeless people:

Jürgen Becker explains how housing shortages and homelessness have become part of urban society: “The high rents today are what the city walls used to be, they determine who is allowed in here and who is not. You can’t have a nurse who works in Cologne having to move to Quadrat-Ichendorf and commute every day because she can no longer afford her home. We need to launch a sensible program against housing shortages and homelessness in 2024, similar to the “Hundred Million Program” under Theo Burauen in 1971, which created 20,000 social housing units and overcame homelessness in our city.” (Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 28.12.2023)

The Cologne Tenants’ Association has publicly explained how to take action against rent increases:

Housing remains an important topic

report k – Outlook for Cologne 2024:

It was the Cologne SPD that gave the debate on housing another boost at the council meeting in October 2023. The Social Democrats called for an immediate program to create more affordable housing in Cologne. Even though the council alliance accused the debate of being an early election campaign skirmish, there was agreement that the topic of housing should be discussed in greater depth in the city council committees, particularly in the housing sub-committee. Niklas Kienitz, CDU managing director on the council, advocated a cross-party pact for housing construction.

Housing is also a recurring topic in urban society, for example in the demand to abolish homelessness. In addition, rents in Cologne are rising while real estate prices are falling. It is clear that more apartments need to be built in Cologne. The question is where and how under the changed framework conditions

Instead of fighting poverty, the poor are being fought

Tacheles e.V. on the sanctions for the citizen’s income

Tacheles e.V., an association for the unemployed, believes that the federal government’s legal measure aimed at achieving concrete budget savings is neither suitable nor constitutional. Rather, it serves resentments and prejudices that are currently being upheld in large parts of our party landscape in a socio-political debate that has nothing in common with objectivity and expertise and contributes to social division.

Hitzeler Str.125

After a silent occupation by homeless people was ended by the police last summer, we scandalized the vacancy, which has been ongoing since 2018, with a protest rally in front of the building on 25. 11. 2023. The homeless people had already raved about how they would turn the large green space around the house into a garden that could provide them with fruit and vegetables. Shouldn’t they be allowed to do that? Hundreds of millions of euros are spent on “culture” in Cologne, while there is no money to abolish homelessness. What kind of understanding of culture is that?

Health crisis in US cities

US mayors ask for help with mental health crisis

A bipartisan group of mayors is calling attention to the mental health crisis that is worsening across the country. Problems stemming from the crisis range from homelessness to drug use to mental illnesses such as depression and a shortage of behavioral and mental health professionals, according to a study, with 97% saying demand for mental health services in their city has increased in the past two years.

To read

Günter Albrecht: Homeless people in Cologne. In: Arbeitskreis Junger Kriminologen: Randgruppenarbeit. Analyses and projects from work with the homeless. Munich 1973

Broadcasts, reports, news

Kalle sing “We stay”

Kalle sings Millionaire

Tenant activist Knut Unger motivates Vonovia tenants nationwide to launch a frontal attack on utility bills

Cologne tenants’ association has more than 70,000 members for the first time

Citizens for the homeless in Cologne

“Kostka also called for the eviction of apartments to be prevented.”

Building authority evicts tenants after 38 years and gives them three months to find accommodation

Strolling between concrete and nail boards | ZDF Magazin Royale


06.12.2023 – 02.02.2024 Exhibition “Review of IBA Vienna – How do we want to live tomorrow? Willy-Brandt-Platz 2, in the Magistrale

06.01.2024, 11 a.m., protest rally against vacancies, Ricarda-Huch-Str.31

12.01.2024, 15 – 17:30, Veedelswanderung through Mülheim. In the Otto-&-Langen-Quartier and at the Mülheim harbor, we question the current development of Mülheim.

16.01.2024, 7 p.m., Prof. Dr. Karsten Zimmermann: Urban Conversion in European Comparison. TH Cologne, Deutz Campus, Karl-Schüssler-Saal

16.01.2024, 7 pm, Bernd Streitberger: Stages of the City of Cologne, Josef-Haubrich-Hof

18.01.2024, 3:30 pm, Committee for Social Affairs

27.01.2024, 6 – 7:30 pm, Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the Nazis. Antonite Church

29.01.2024, Film screening: ALTERLAA Forever. About the largest social housing park in Austria, called Alterlaa. Filmhaus, Maybachstr.111

31.01.2024, 7 pm, Wohnungsschlüssel statt Handschellen, reading of “Gefangen & Wohnungslos” with Dr. Nicole Bögelein, Christina-Maria Greve, Klaus Jünschke, and another former prisoner. TH Cologne, Ubierring 48, Room 201

05.02.2024, 7 pm, “M’r welle en neu Stadt baue”, Historical Archive, Eifelwall

06.02.2024, 3.30 pm, Council

7-9.06.2024 The 10th Right to the City Forum in Berlin

For a city without homelessness

For a city without 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

January 6, 2024

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

To discuss further actions, we will meet on Monday, January 8, 2024 at 7 pm in the open meeting room of the Bürgerzentrum Alte Feuerwache

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