Newsletter No 176 of 10 February 2024

Action alliance against housing shortage and urban destruction, Newsletter 176

10 years of “Kalle for all”

Kalle Gerigk was evicted on February 20, 2014. He experienced an incredible amount of solidarity back then, which he still passes on today. Adnan Akyüz reported on this in the Express

Düsseldorf wants to become the first city without homelessness

When we once spoke to Social Affairs Director Rau about the abolition of homelessness – that it would be possible to get everyone off the streets and into vacant properties – he replied that others would follow.

He is afraid of abolishing homelessness because then others might follow and at the same time claims that he wants to abolish homelessness by 20230. Since he himself knows that this is not possible with 1000 social housing units built every year, he should explain why he still wants to be re-elected as head of the social services department.

We have gladly taken in refugees, also in the knowledge that others will follow. They are rightly still welcome. Is that not supposed to work for homeless people in Cologne?

It’s refreshing to hear Michael Busch from Düsseldorf: “I then said that I would join in on one condition: that we become the first city in Germany where no one has to live on the streets anymore.”

 “No one should have to live on the street in Düsseldorf”15.01.2024

“Düsseldorf should be a city where no one has to live on the streets”       20.12.2021

No displacement situation in Cologne?

“For a city without poverty” – our demand, which appears at the end of every newsletter, has not found its way into Cologne politics. 

On February 1, 2024, Mayor Henriette Reker presented the most important plans for 2024 together with all department heads. The Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper quoted Ms Reker on 2 February 2024 as saying: “The visibility of poverty will remain to some extent. We will not create a displacement situation for homelessness.”

The editors of the Kölnische Rundschau wrote: “Visible poverty cannot simply be pushed out of the cityscape,” she said, referring to homelessness. “It works in Munich, it works in Düsseldorf, but it doesn’t work in Cologne because a lot of people don’t agree with it,” said Reker. Public order services repeatedly experience that citizens jump to their aid when they On February 23, 2023, the Homelessness Working Group met with Katja Robinson, Head of the Social Welfare Office, to discuss the “Cologne Concept against Housing and Homelessness” in the “Veedelszimmer Eigelstein”. The minutes read: “The social welfare office is not responsible for the drinking scene from EU countries, but the police, the immigration office and/or the public order service. A “Giuliani policy” should also be pursued in order to avoid pull effects.”

If you google “Guiliani and homeless people”, you will find news like this: “Giuliani banned homeless people from sleeping on the street. Now the police can send anyone they catch on a park bench to “Rykers Island”, the prison island in the East River. “In a civilized society, the streets are not for sleeping,” said the mayor

Why people in rich cities like New York and Cologne are destitute and dying on the streets is not explained.

Once upon a time:

How Cologne used to be.

So comfortable with wooden benches!

Because when you were tired, you lay down.

Down on the bench and nursed yourself

The displacement situation that Ms. Reker says is not being created for homelessness – has been created in Cologne. In the subway, on the platforms, on the streets and squares – everywhere there are only homeless people, or even fewer: leaning areas. Parents who want to show their children how things used to be can find dozens of beautiful old benches in the Flora.

Click here for the history of the homeless-repelling architecture:

The death of the pub

Martin Sonneborn writes about the death of pubs, biting as we know him: 

Slowly enough, traffic lights.

People need pubs. When we hear that one in four is facing insolvency, we have to cry. We would be pretty tough if, for example, Starbucks or McDonald’s finally died, but we don’t want to see REAL pubs go bust. Every time an angel dies, and who can watch angels die. In these times. We’d rather see Krauss-Maffei, Lufthansa, Airbus or Bosch and Bayer go under.

In pubs, once important pillars in the lives of workers as “salons of the poor”, a whole culture of complex behaviors is lived that does not occur anywhere else: from the discussion about the blind spots of ontology to the solid planning of the coming world revolution (the next day, unfortunately: forgotten) to the ordering of seven freshly tapped large beers with foam on top plus three small ones (beer to beer), plus 12 times men’s deck & five bottles of Wegbier – with a single glance at the counter.

In the main, a pub is not a physical space, but a social space whose participants relate to each other in “fold-out subjectivity of action”. A visit to a pub is fundamentally different from soccer, the cinema or the Internet; events whose principle – even where people appear in masses – is the UNIFICATION are diametrically opposed to Dr. Flotte, Fischlabor, Hackbar and Gasthaus Lentz. As “an institution designed for participation, collectivity and activity”, the pub is the guarantor of “individual resistance to the constant upheaval of life contexts” and “the insolence of commercial leisure industry and mass media exploitation of the private sphere”. And it protects against this more reliably “than the closed walls of the living room”.

Since that’s probably all we can do for now, we will publish a new edition of the underrated classic “Die Kneipe. Sociology of a Cultural Form” (Franz Dröge/Thomas Krämer-Badoni) in order to feed it chapter by chapter into the daily briefing of the responsible federal ministers.

And hopefully none of them will be served anymore. Not at any counter in the world.

From: Sonneborn, Latour “99 ideas for the revival of political utopia”, KiWi

To read

Now that social inequality has risen to a greater extent than ever before in the history of the Federal Republic of Germany, the

First cohesion report

Tax revolution! A concept for the redistribution of wealth, more justice and climate protection

Matthew Desmond – Forced evictions in the USA

Corruption Perceptions Index 2023 by Transparency International

Broadcasts, Reports, News

Single parents in NRW usually have no chance when looking for accommodation

Berlin’s rulers want homelessness

Homelessness is the modern version of the pillory, says Nathaniel Flakin

In Switzerland, thousands of houses are demolished every year. This has serious ecological, economic and housing policy consequences.

Housing is a social good – not a speculative object. But what do the owners care?

The poisoned gift

The idea of paving the way to ownership for social housing tenants made the rich richer

Rents in German cities are going through the roof

Apartment first, concerns second

Austria follows the Finnish path and takes a thousand homeless people off the streets with Housing First

“Homeless people don’t have a day off”

Janita-Marja Juvonen herself lived on the streets for 14 years. In her book “The Others”, she describes the reality of homelessness.!5987200&s=juvonen/

The perennial issue of utility bills. Our legal advisor Ceylan Dogan was interviewed by ZDF heute and reveals why it is worth having the statement checked every year and which errors we notice time and again.

Caren Lay: Rents are being raised more and more, and not just in the 10 most expensive rental cities. Hardly anyone can afford that anymore. The additional costs are on top of that. We need a #rent freeze and a nationwide #rent freeze now! 

“Historically unprecedented”: property prices fell more in 2023 than they have in 60 years


15.02.2024, 20-21:30 The Link discusses David Harvey: Rebellious Cities. In the meeting room of the parliamentary group (Spanischer Bau, Rathausplatz 1, room B027)

17.02.2024, 11 am Protest against GAG vacancy, Ricarda Huch Str.31

19.02.2024, 17:30, Do we need a qualified rent index? Deutz community center

20.02.2024, 19:30, Does a housing corporation have to work profit-oriented? Die Linke, Spanish Building, Rathausplatz 1, Room B027

22-24.02.2024 Fragile dwellings. Precarious housing and homelessness in times of multiple crises.

29.02.2024, 15:30 Social Committee

21.03.2024, 15:30, 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. Ehrenfeld community center

11.09.2024 Day of the homeless

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

February 10, 2024

Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe

Translated with

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