Newsletter NO 180 of 09 March 2024

Action alliance against housing shortage and urban destruction, Newsletter 180

Protest against vacancy of GAG apartments

09.03.2024, 11 a.m., Ricarda-Huch-Str.31 in front of the GAG Service Center

More than just living space: these are GAG’s new building plans in Cologne-Stammheim

Rainer Kippe: There is a lot of talk about GAG’s plans, and everything that everyone already knows and that nobody really cares about is told again.

The only real question, why the apartments cannot be used INTERMEDIATELY, is not addressed.

GAG, a non-profit company that is predominantly owned by the city, has no need to answer this question, and the supervisory board members from the city council have no need to demand an answer.

Lea Bonasera: Why civil resistance works [23.09.23]

GAG houses open for homeless and refugees –

Protest in front of Cologne GAG headquarters

Monday, March 11, 2024, 10 a.m., Straße des 17. Juni 4

Dear friends, dear interested parties,

Where is the Cologne uprising against the GAG board with the cold heart? After the many beautiful carnival songs about a warm Cologne with feeling, after exhilarating demonstrations against right-wing extremists and for democracy, we now need to get down to business and say “Arsch huh, Zäng ussenande “r for the poorest, for the homeless and refugees.

56 empty GAG apartments in Stammheim are waiting for people in need.

But the doors remain closed. GAG wanted to demolish the block of houses in Elias-Gut-Straße and have them rebuilt. But now, due to the enormous price increases in the construction industry, it has ordered a construction freeze. Warm apartments will remain empty for at least a year while people in need have to live outside, in refugee homes or in emergency night shelters. As we all know, one year can quickly turn into three or even five years of vacancy. More than a hundred new residents could be accommodated here in interim use.

What is obvious, however, is not possible for the business-minded GAG board. The effort involved in refurbishing the apartments is too expensive and UNREASONABLE. But homelessness is also UNREASONABLE. Which is why the Bethe Foundation has now approached the GAG board and agreed to cover the restoration costs.

Now there is a solution FOR EVERYONE on a silver platter.

– Warm apartments for people in need

– The Bethe Foundation will cover the restoration costs

– During its construction freeze, GAG has received rents from the city.

– The city of Cologne only has to pay half of the 20 euros per square meter that is charged for refugee accommodation.

GAG, which used to have a social focus, has obviously forgotten how to be social. Whether it’s the vacancies or the enormous rent increases, the GAG board needs our support to become social again. And without social issues, democracy cannot flourish.

Let’s all set an example, it’s time. Hic Rhodus, hic salta.

Social associations and initiatives, churches, trade unions, the climate movement, the peace movement, the social wings of all democratic parties, tenants, refugees, migrants, committed people in general, not least GAG employees:

Together for a SOCIAL democracy, together for the abolition of homelessness by 2030!

Please spread this call and publicize the rally (see attachment).

I’ll be there!

with solidarity greetings

Heinz Weinhausen

Head of Social Affairs Norbert Burger on March 25, 1971 in the Council on homelessness

While homelessness after the war, caused by the bombing and the influx of refugees, could hardly be considered a special fate, today it is a phenomenon that only affects a relatively small group of people who have been pushed to the margins of our society. When I say “only a small” group, then in Cologne we are talking about around 2,350 parties with around 11,000 people, of which around 6,500 are children and young people, i.e. around 1.3% of our population… …

These factors, however serious they may be individually, need not in themselves be a reason for homelessness. Rather, they are characteristics that would urgently require activating social and educational policies even without homelessness. Homelessness is therefore only a symptom of a group pushed to the margins of society by the mechanism of discrimination, whereby you should understand discrimination in relation to the factors just listed both as an objectively ascertainable disadvantage and as a prejudice of society against those who behave differently.

It seems almost inevitable that people or groups who are objectively or subjectively discriminated against in this way will be particularly disadvantaged when general bottlenecks such as unemployment or housing shortages occur in the society on whose margins they live. Homelessness is one of the possible consequences.

If society, all of you and I, as well as most of the citizens of this city, were to think in terms of guilt or non-guilt when judging these people and act accordingly, this would not bring us one step closer to solving the problem. Rather, against the background of the discrimination that actually exists, such considerations would only have an alibi function.  This means that the solution can only go in two directions. Firstly, the objectively existing disadvantages must be reduced through intensive social work efforts, and secondly, the largely existing prejudice in society and not least in the institutions concerned with social work, including the administration, must be countered through targeted education and broad public relations work.

In the past, before and after the elimination of the external characteristic of homelessness, initial pilot projects have been developed and put into practice in Cologne…

…The administration will shortly be submitting further models and asking for your support. Because, as I believe I have made clear, the problem is not solved simply by providing housing. However, one thing can be said: the creation of decent housing for those affected is the first essential prerequisite for the success of all our efforts.

(Source p.169 ff.)

Norbert Burger (*November 24, 1932 in Cologne; † May 16, 2012 in Cologne),_1932)

And today – 53 years later:

How the city of Cologne wants to combat homelessness – fuel for the city council

“Together for a home”: The 1st draft of the National Action Plan:


Dear people interested in urban development for the common good,

Please find attached today’s article in the KStA. It describes the major dilemma facing the Open Jazz House School and SSM e.V.

The Offene Jazzhaus Schule is a member of our consortium for the interim use of the Otto-Langen-Quartier.

As there was no political majority in the property committee on 04.03.2024 to approve “Building block 2 – heritable building right for socio-cultural groups”, both associations are now threatened with being without a contract from 01.07.24.

The “Gestaltungsbündnis” (CDU + GRÜNE) postponed the council bill without any further technical justification, meaning that a decision will not be possible until May 16 at the earliest.

Kind regards

Otto-Langen-Quartier initiative group

a working group of the Rheinische Industriekultur e.V.

Pritzker Prize for Riken Yamamoto

The Pritzker Prize, also known as the Pritzker Architecture Prize, is a world-renowned award for architecture. It was founded in 1979 by the American entrepreneur Jay A. Pritzker and his wife Cindy and has been organized by the Hyatt Foundation since their death. The annual award is endowed with 100,000 US dollars and is held in high esteem in professional circles.

Japan’s Riken Yamamoto, a critic of contemporary housing, receives the prestigious Pritzker Prize. In his tribute in the FAZ, Niklas Maak looks at Yamamoto’s manifesto “Community Area Model”, which seeks alternatives to the dominance of the small family home. What might that look like? For example: “Three- to six-storey open structures in which residential units for singles, couples, families, groups of friends or retirement communities are inserted; a patchwork of workspaces, offices, daycare facilities and loggia-like semi-open spaces where people can barbecue or celebrate together in summer – as in the Yamakawa Villa of 1977, in which Yamamoto first realized his idea of the open hybrid space between inside and outside.” Corresponding proposals, we read further, were rejected by the Green Party in Munich in 2006 due to a lack of thermal insulation.

To read

Crime and “problem properties”

Crime is concentrated in certain places. In response, numerous cities in the USA have also taken measures to eliminate problem properties. Property owners are being put under pressure to manage their properties better. A study now shows that interventions in problem properties also lead to a reduction in crime and disorder in other properties on the same street

Broadcasts, reports, news

A history of the youth center movement

Where wealth and poverty are more prevalent in Cologne households

We all have to do something

Interview with Klaus Jünschke on “Trapped & Homeless”

Film: What we need, what we can do. A house for everyone

Home ownership for low-income earners: Community Land Trust in Brussels

Locuitorii din Hamburg vor să exproprieze companiile de locuințe

Exproprierea este fezabilă doar conform modelului de inițiativă

Curtea de Conturi a statului prezintă un raport privind efectele socializării societăților de locuințe


08/03/2024, ora 18:00, “Lupta feministă – împotriva patriarhatului, crizei și fascismului”, Rocalliplatz

09.03.2024, ora 11.00, Protest împotriva locurilor vacante, Ricarda Huch Str.31, Stammheim

09.03.2024, orele 15.00-18.00, Eveniment cu ocazia Zilei Internaționale a Femeii: “Femei puternice, Köln puternic”, în primăria istorică a orașului

11.03.2024, ora 10.00, Protest împotriva posturilor vacante în fața sediului GAG, Straße des 17.Juni 4

11. 03. 2024, ora 19:30, De la telefonul chiriașului la primar – Cum a devenit KPÖ cel mai puternic partid din Graz. Prelegere și discuție cu Ernest Kaltenegger. Sala de ședințe a primăriei Köln Partidul Stângii

12.03.2024, ora 19:00, Cum pot fi create spații nediscriminatorii?

12.03.2024, ora 19:30, Willhem Heitmeyer: Condițiile sociale pentru ascensiunea AfD. Forumul Catedralei

13.03.2024, 3 p.m., Uprisings, upheavals, “revolutions” in Cologne, Karl Rahner Academy

16.03.2024, Day of the open housing project

17.03.2024, Day of the Open Housing Project

19.03.2024, 7 pm; Superblock initiatives in Cologne

21.03.2024, 3 p.m., “Finally abolish homelessness” Theo-Burauen-Platz

01-07.04.2024 Housing Action Week 2024

08.04.2023, 7 p.m., Right to the city in the open meeting place of the Alte Feuerwache

09.04.2024, 6 – 7.30 p.m.: “Climate crisis/heat stress – health consequences and protection options”, with Barbara Grüne from the Cologne Health Department and Bianka Schiefer from the Cologne Environmental and Consumer Protection Office. Forum VHS in the museum

11.04.2024, 19:30, Franco Clemens: “Interview with a street worker”.  House of the Church, Baudriplatz 17.

12.04.2024, 2 p.m., Two years of the Mülheim Ark

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

9. März  2024
Klaus Jünschke und 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, April 8, 2024 at 7 pm at “Recht auf Stadt Köln” in the open meeting place of the Bürgerzentrum Alte Feuerwache

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