Newsletter No 173 of 20 January 2024

Action alliance against housing shortage and urban destruction, Newsletter 173

Protest against vacancy of GAG apartments and rent increases

Saturday, January 20, 2024, 11 am. Ricarda Huch Str.31

A resident yesterday on Facebook: I’m looking forward to the annual statement from GAG. You can bet it will say winter maintenance again. To date, the sidewalks here in Moses-Heß have neither been cleared of snow nor have they been gritted.

The misery and plight of the homeless men and women on the streets cannot be overlooked.

Although the city of Cologne’s social committee decided on January 14, 2021 to house all homeless people in lockable single rooms, the city has made no real effort to get the homeless off the streets.

And all signs point to further increases in rent. The homeless are the hardest hit by the increasing housing shortage.

How the homeless view society

The population looks at the homeless. That is the way most people see them. In this issue of “Systemfragen”, we turn the perspective around: What do these people think about our society? What do they want from politics?

Explanation of the street names in the GAG housing estate in Stammheim-Süd

Names that speak against the profit orientation of GAG

Georg Beyer Straße Georg Beyer , 2.10.1884 – 27.10.1943, was an editor of the Rheinische Zeitung and from 1919 to 1933 a member of the Cologne City Council for the SPD. He died in emigration near Toulouse in a monastery where he had sought refuge from the Nazis.

Bonhoefferstraße Dietrich Bonhoeffer was murdered in the Flossenburg concentration camp

Isidor-Caro Straße Isidor Caro, rabbi of the Jewish community in Cologne, died in the Theresienstadt ghetto in 1943

Elias Gut Straße Elias Gut, 21.2.1869 – 6.10.1945, was a Jewish religious teacher, from 1895-1939 teacher and director at the Jewish teachers’ seminary, he emigrated to Switzerland

Moses-Heß-Straße Moses Heß was an early socialist and pioneer of Zionism

Ricarda-Huch-Straße The poet and philosopher was an anti-fascist

Nathan Kahn Street Nathan Kahn died on July 27, 1942 in the Treblinka concentration camp

Adolf Kober Street

“As a rabbi and historian (1879-1958), Adolf Kober was the embodiment of a German-Jewish ideal: the academically educated “rabbi-doctor”. His studies on Jewish history in Germany, especially in Cologne and the Rhineland, are still received today; but his work as a rabbi and his cultural and charitable commitment should also be remembered.”

AfD and homelessness

Removing people in order to solve social problems is not a unique selling point of the AfD. That’s why they are so successful – they just have to top what everyone else is saying in the competition for faster and more extensive deportations. 

Not only the municipal transport companies and cities, but also Deutsche Bahn spares no expense or effort to invent and design more benches to drive the homeless away.

Some even say it with flowers, like the dm in Kalker-Hauptstraße, which placed huge plant tubs in front of its windows – where homeless people were previously camped.

And people are surprised that deportation and expulsion are popular in this society and that the AfD has over 30% support – there is still room for improvement in a country where it has become normal to watch the homeless die on the streets while the rich get richer and the poor get richer and poorer. The AfD did not invent letting people drown in the Mediterranean.

And a chancellor who proclaims “You_ll never walk allone” towers above it all.

And some people take literally, not what the chancellor says, but what the rejecting benches say, and set fire to homeless people.

The Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe has been documenting homicides against and among homeless people since 1989. It can be assumed that the 626 deaths are minimum figures.

Violence against homeless people is on the rise

The number of homeless people rose by almost 60 percent in 2022. And violence against the homeless is also on the rise. Social worker Oliver Ongaro sees the violence as a way for the perpetrators to distance themselves from others in order to compensate for their fear of social decline.

How far we were two years ago

On the rally for the accommodation of the homeless

on 13.01.2022 at Cologne City Hall

On Wednesday from 6 – 8 p.m., the Cologne Left Party invited former Berlin Social Affairs Director Elke Breitenbach to an online event on the Berlin master plan to abolish homelessness by 2030. Together with her then State Secretary Alexander Fischer, Elke Breitenbach explained in a guest article in the Tagesspiegel what the plan is all about:

After Elke Breitenbach presented the origins and significance of the master plan, there were four statements on the situation in Cologne from Rainer Kippe from Sozialistische Selbsthilfe Mülheim (SSM), Linda Rennings from the association “Heimatlos in Köln” (HiK e.V.), Pastor Hans Mörtter from the Lutherkirche and Anne Rossenbach from Sozialdienst Katholischer Frauen (skf).

Everyone was very impressed by the guidelines developed over four years in several strategy conferences and nine working groups and the Masterplan2030, which heralded the end of the fight against homelessness in Berlin and the beginning of the fight to end homelessness.

Rainer Kippe, Jörg Detjen and Jürgen talked about the event with Elke Breitenbach at our rally for housing the homeless in lockable single rooms yesterday and reported on what they learned from it for Cologne. Klaus Jünschke can only imagine a fundamental change in the way homeless people are treated in Cologne based on the Berlin model if the independent agencies, politicians and administrative staff responsible for the homeless apologize for the repressive treatment of the homeless to date. Michael Paetzold criticized the urgent motion submitted by the Greens, CDU and Volt shortly before the meeting of the Social Affairs Committee, in which they demanded, among other things, that the homeless be housed in single rooms, as had already been decided on 14.1.2021. The housing policy spokespersons of the three parties should publicly explain why they did not already do this at the council meeting on 14.12.2020.

Everyone agreed that this initiative by the so-called “Gestaltungsbündnis” (design alliance) of the Greens, CDU and Volt does not really address the needs of the homeless. Individual accommodation is only to be decided by the council on February 3, 2022 – but will initially only last until the end of March.

January 14, 2022

Klaus Jünschke


The Kölnische Rundschau reports today, 14.1.2022 in the local section:

More help for homeless people

Street work to be expanded

The city administration is to offer more help for homeless people in Cologne. The city council’s social affairs committee passed an urgent motion on Thursday. According to the motion, more all-day accommodation and contact points are to be created for people with no fixed abode. At hotspots such as Neumarkt, Ebertplatz or Wiener Platz, mobile medical and psychiatric care for those affected is to be improved through the increased deployment of street workers.

The city should also take care of more emergency shelters, including for couples and people with dogs, as well as more decentralized day services including employment opportunities for homeless people who are not entitled to benefits. To this end, it is to rent additional properties in the short term. It has also been commissioned to develop a concept for holistic work with the homeless. The Greens, CDU and Volt had allocated an additional one million euros in the 2022 budget. The SPD criticized that much of the help could already be running if the alliance had moved sooner. Its proposal was “largely copied from the SPD, Left Party and FDP”.

And more as a reminder

“Housing First” The Finnish concept against homelessness

Status: 18.02.2023 22:18 hrs

On the first delegation trip of the Ministry of Construction, Minister Geywitz is looking for solutions to one of the most pressing problems in Germany: homelessness. In Finland, there has long been a consensus that housing is a basic right.

How Finland is abolishing homelessness

The number of people living on the streets has been rising massively in Europe for years – except in Finland. Every homeless person there is to have an apartment by 2027. Can it succeed?

Squatting in the entertainment industry

This is one of the themes of the 1995 Tatort in which Rio Reiser plays a leading role and in which “This is our house” booms out of a pub

Tatort “Ice Age at Heart” (S25E07) 1995

To read

Pestel Institute: Building and living in Germany in 2024

Dirk Frölich: Aufbruch:Stadt

Broadcasts, reports, news

Street worker Franco Clemens: “Watch out for homeless people now because of the cold!”

Minus seven degrees in Cologne. This is how homeless Stefan (38) lives under the south bridge

“Shock” for those affected. Tenants’ association fears further drastic rise in rents

Nationwide, the number of requests for advice from tenants’ associations is said to be increasing due to high rental costs. The leading real estate association defends itself.

Heike from Ichbinarmutsbetroffen – Heike on cuts in the social sector, sanctions, the low-wage sector, wealth distribution, the rise of the right and solidarity.

Germany lets social housing wither away and pays horrendous rents to housing corporations. Alliance calls for special budget

Crisis on the real estate market. Building permits continue to collapse

Rent shark says thank you. The traffic light is red for social housing

State pumps 20 billion euros into the rental market – creating new problems


20.01.2024, 11 a.m., Protest against the dismissal of GAG apartments, Ricarda-Huch-Str.31

21.01.2024, 12 – 14 h, Democracy protection demonstration, fight against AfD, Deutzer Ufer

25.1., 18:00 – 20:30, working group on construction, real estate, urban development, housing of the parliamentary group Die Linke in the parliamentary group meeting room (Spanischer Bau, Rathausplatz 1, R. B026)

Online at this link:

With a presentation by Dirk Frölich, who introduces us to Aufbruch:Stadt

27.01.2024, 6 – 7:30 pm, Nazi Victims Memorial Day. Antonite Church

29.01.2024, Film screening: ALTERLAA Forever. About the largest social settlement in Austria, called Alterlaa. Film house, Maybachstr.111

30.01.2024, 10:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Day of Action for the Homeless for the Right to Housing Düsseldorf, Bahnhofsvorplatz & FFT

31.01.2024, 19:00, Keys to housing instead of handcuffs, reading “Gefangen & Wohnungslos” with Dr. Nicole Bögelein, Christina-Maria Greve, Klaus Jünschke and another former prisoner. TH Cologne, Ubierring 48, room 201

05.02.2024, 7:00 pm, “M’r welle en neu Stadt baue,” Historical Archives, Eifelwall

06.02.2024, 3:30 pm, Council

01-07.04.2023 Housing Action Week 2024

07-09.06.2024 The 10th Right to the City Forum in Berlin

10-11.06.2024 Assisted living after release from prison

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 20, 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, February 5, 2024 at 7 pm at “Recht auf Stadt Köln” in the open meeting place of the Bürgerzentrum Alte Feuerwache

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