A Housing Manifesto — BERLIN | Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen
The Brno Gallery of Architecture and the Faculty of Architecture at BUT organized an online lecture of an urbanist Joanna Kusiak on the Berlin initiative “Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen” [Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen & Co.]. In the following discussion with the Austrian architect Gabu Heindl, spoke about housing financialization, rent control, tenants organizing, and housing socialization. The discussion was an accompanying programme to the exhibition Gabu Heindl: Urban Conflicts – A Housing Manifesto. The event took a place online on Tuesday 8 March at 19:00 CET, in English.
Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen! is a citizens’ initiative in Berlin that aims at expropriating stock-listed housing corporations and socializing (that is de-privatizing) ca. 250 000 apartments in Berlin. This would curb financially driven speculation in the Berlin housing market and tackle the housing crisis at its roots. The legal basis is Article 15 of the Basic Law [German Constitution], which speaks of Vergesellschaftung [socialization]. Socialization can help manage Berlin’s housing in a democratic, equitable and ecologically sustainable way. Since the start of the campaign in 2018, the initiative managed to collect enough signatures to hold a referendum in September 2021. People voted for the expropriation of the concerned part of the rental market. Also, the City of Berlin approved the rent cap in 2020 under civic pressure.