1st Fatal Eviction
Mourning rally “Forced evictions destroy lives” 6 August 2022, 2 – 5 p.m., Gernsheimer straße 17
Dear City Gazette,
the fatal police shooting of a LEG tenant who violently defended his flat with a knife against an eviction has deeply shaken us all.
The struggle for the remaining housing in this city, which is becoming increasingly unaffordable for the lower half of the income groups, has, after countless occupations and evictions, reached a new, worrying level in recent years.
Every Monday evening we are confronted with cases of threatened evictions in the SSM’s social counselling service, every week we learn about the cases of mostly elderly people who have lost their homes in this way and have been vegetating on the streets for years or in cheap city boarding houses with no prospect of ever getting a flat again.
For years we have been waiting for measures from the city and the state to remedy this deplorable state of affairs by finally creating sufficient housing again – so far it has remained just warm words.
We should remind ourselves that
this dispute about eviction is first and foremost only about PROPERTY, i.e. about a Matter, not about human lives.
It is legally possible to take up arms in order to enforce PROPERTY RIGHTS, but it fundamentally contradicts our view of the right to life and physical integrity and of human dignity.
Therefore, this death shot cannot be legal.
There are other means to pacify social conflicts than firearms, the police should know this better than anyone else…
In addition, the flat that was being fought over is supposed to belong to LEG, originally a state company, which, even though it is now private, is first and foremost obliged to provide housing for the population and not for profit.
Furthermore, it must be asked where the municipal housing office or the municipal “Fachstelle Wohnen” was, whose self-assumed task it is to prevent evictions and thus avoid the threat of homelessness.
We now demand an immediate municipal plan for a sufficient housing supply under the title “HOUSING FOR ALL
and a ban on all evictions until a full replacement is available.
I agree with the reprint as a letter to the editor.
Rainer Kippe, SSM
2. 3,000 new social housing units per year for Cologne
On 24.01.2016, the Kölnische Rundschau reported that more social housing is to be built in Cologne in the future. https://www.rundschau-online.de/region/koeln/wohnungsbau-im-visier-in-koeln-sollen-kuenftig-mehr-sozialwohnungen-entstehen-23476888
When the City of Cologne renewed the occupancy agreement for subsidised housing with the umbrella organisations of the housing industry in March 2016, Lord Mayor Henriette Reker declared: “I see the new occupancy agreement at the same time as an important impulse to the housing industry to invest more in subsidised housing, which is so urgently needed in Cologne.”
Since then, the number of subsidised flats in the city has fallen year after year.
In 2021, Cologne could still count 37,916 publicly subsidised rental flats. This corresponds to a share of 6.7% of the city’s total housing stock. In 1990, 22.2% of all flats were still subsidised. https://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/1315037/umfrage/anteil-der-oeffentlich-gefoerderten-mietwohnungen-in-koeln/
In the election campaign, the Greens and the Volt emphasised that Vienna is a model for them to follow on the housing issue.
Vienna has consistently built 6,000 to 7,000 subsidised flats a year for many decades. Subsidised housing is primarily handled by cooperatives and awarded through developer competitions https://taz.de/Stadtplanerin-ueber-Wohnen-in-der-Zukunft/!5867447&s=Ralf+Leonhard/
With 1.9 million inhabitants, the city of Vienna is not quite twice as big as Cologne.
Why can’t Cologne build 3,000 subsidised flats a year with the housing cooperatives?
3 When will refugees and homeless people be treated equally?
Josef Ludwig, the former head of Cologne’s housing office, said in an interview in the Stadt-Anzeiger that for refugees “the goal was always to provide accommodation that was as small as possible. Before the Ukraine war, we had managed to house 85 per cent of the refugees in self-contained housing units.”
Why the same efforts are not made for the homeless as for the refugees is not an issue in the Cologne City Council, and the Stadt-Anzeiger does not address this unequal treatment in its interview with Ludwig either.
4 For a city without violence against women and children
The British psychologist and feminist Jessica Taylor got to the point some time ago when she wrote on Twitter that violent men do not lose control over their partners. Rather, they exercise power – in a way they would never do against their boss and other authorities. https://www.spiegel.de/ausland/femizide-warum-spanien-uns-beim-kampf-gegen-frauenmorde-ein-vorbild-sein-sollte-a-a8ca95a0-2dea-4fba-8132-81eb60e1e413
5. programmes, reports, news
Housing construction in Cologne since 2010
In the current issue 7/2022 of the Cologne Statistical News, information is provided on housing construction in Cologne since 2010: https://www.stadt-koeln.de/mediaasset/content/pdf15/statistik-bauen-und-wohnen/ksn_7_2022_auswertung_der_amtlichen_bautaetigkeitsstatistik_2021.pdf
Vonovia wants to sell flats worth 13 billion euros https://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/unternehmen/vonovia-immobilienkonzern-will-wohnungen-im-wert-von-13-milliarden-euro-verkaufen-und-steigert-gewinn-massiv-a-2b5b1ab9-74c1-4f09-bdab-0ecaa4f948f6
Dare to make more profit Housing group Vonovia posts strong yield in half-year report. Further profit increases planned https://www.jungewelt.de/artikel/431836.immobilienhaie-mehr-profit-wagen.html
Stern TV little homes https://www.facebook.com/sterntv/videos/little-home-nie-wieder-obdachlos-stern-tv/1778211835691783/
Improvements for Berlin tenants can only be achieved through stricter laws Berlin’s mayor Franziska Giffey wanted to end the confrontation with the real estate industry by signing the rent alliance. The result is sobering. https://www.berliner-zeitung.de/mensch-metropole/verbesserungen-fuer-berliner-mieter-gibt-es-nur-durch-schaerfere-gesetze-li.245658
And in the federal government, the FDP is preventing effective rent regulations and blocking the long-promised reform of the municipal right of first refusal.
Vacant flats in Stuttgart
State does not want to take action against “places of shame” Representatives of cities with housing shortages do not want to prosecute owners of buildings that have been empty for years. The tenants’ association criticises the responsible ministry.Rolf Gaßmann, chairman of the Baden-Württemberg tenants’ association and Stuttgart tenants’ association, calls apartment buildings that have stood empty for ten years or more, as in the district of Heumaden, “places of shame” https://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.leerstand-von-wohnungen-land-will-nicht-gegen-orte-der-schande-vorgehen.f6f5336f-e026-4a79-99bf-4b8539f0721f.html
Cologne-Nippes, Kuenstrasse 36. Residents report that four flats have been empty for years. The housing office is aware of the vacancy: renovation work is planned. Because of the protection of historical monuments, the planning for the renovation is time-consuming. – I keep an eye on the house. (Status: 18.7.2022)
Historical rent madness 150 years ago, a forced eviction in Berlin’s Blumenstraße caused protests and riots. But the conflicts over housing still exist today
Exhibition: Art in spite of exclusion
“Incomprehensible” What the Cologne Haus- und Grund-Verein thinks of the new property tax https://www.rundschau-online.de/region/koeln/-unverstaendlich–was-der-koelner-haus–und-grund-verein-von-der-neuen-grundsteuer-haelt-39855770
High demand for social housing promotion in Baden-Württemberg https://www.baden-wuerttemberg.de/de/service/presse/pressemitteilung/pid/hohe-nachfrage-nach-sozialer-wohnraumfoerderung-1/
6. reading recommendations
An interview with Nancy Fraser in the current WoZ https://www.woz.ch/2231/nancy-fraser/wir-haben-den-begriff-der-arbeit-viel-zu-eng-gefasst
“Dispossession does not create a single dwelling” https://www.rosalux.de/fileadmin/rls_uploads/pdfs/Argumente/lux_argu_20_Enteignung_07-22.pdf
Analysis Designing emergency accommodation for the homeless in conformity with human rights Guidelines for minimum standards in regulatory accommodation Claudia Engelmann https://www.institut-fuer-menschenrechte.de/fileadmin/Redaktion/Publikationen/Analyse_Studie/Analyse_Notunterbringung_Wohnungsloser.pdf
Frank Eckardt (ed.): Key works in urban research Reviewed by Prof. Dr. Detlef Baum, 13.06.2017 https://www.socialnet.de/rezensionen/22590.php
New Constitution in Chile to be voted on in September 2022 CHAPTER II – INHERENT FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS Article 51 1. Everyone has the right to dignified and adequate housing which permits the free development of personal, family and community life. https://www.amerika21.de/2022/07/258957/verfassungsentwurf-chile-vorgelegt
06.08.2022, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., rally against vacancies, Friedrich-Engels-Straße 7
O6.08.2022, 2 p.m., Funeral rally Eviction Kills. Gernsheimer Street 17
06.08.2022, 3pm, Demo “For free local transport”. Wiener Platz
15.08.2022, 4pm to 8pm. Real equality on the Cologne housing market Karl-Rahner-Akademie, Jabachstraße 4-8, 50676 Cologne.
17-21.08 2022, European Summer University, Uni Mönchengladbach with a forum and two workshops on housing https://www.esu22.eu/en/home
17.08.2022, 2 p.m., Council
18.08.2022, 15:30 Social Committee
20.08.2022, 2 p.m., Domforum, History on the Street. Guided tour with Linda Rennings for the Women’s History Society https://www.frauengeschichtsverein.de/2022/08/20/geschichte-auf-der-stra%C3%9Fe-eine-stadtf%C3%BChrung-mit-der-k%C3%B6lschen-linda/
27.8.2022 at 3 p.m., City historian Martin Stankowski and selected vendors of the street magazine DRAUSSENSEITER will have a tete-a-tete and show that Cologne really does have a double city map. Tickets for the good cause are now available here:
08.10.2022 Nationwide day of action for a rent freeze
03.11.2022, 19 h, Masterplan against destitution? Discussion on homelessness and drug addiction. With Monika Kleine, SKF, Stefan Lehmann, Health Department, Dominik Meiering, Pfarr, Harald Rau, Social Welfare Officer. Karl Rahner Academy, 5 €
6 August 2022 Klaus Jünschke and Rainer Kippe
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)