We are experiencing the transformation of living space into the new gold standard. They become investments on the stock markets. While there is an increase in new, high-end housing stock, the amount of social housing steadily decreases. Districts and neighborhoods are being restructured for profit. Our favorite pub, our kindergarten and our valued kiosk are threatened or have already been displaced. Are rents are hiked and we spend a greater percentage of our income on rent. Our houses are privatized, sold and resold for profit. Our apartments are renovated and modernized and the rents continue to rise. Our residences are converted into offices, holiday flats, or even remain vacant as investments. We receive notices of termination and lawsuits are brought against us. We are forcibly evicted from our flats, torn from our neighborhoods and are tossed to the street. As homeless people we are forced to live in disgraceful conditions.
We will no longer tolerate this injustice and violence. We will resist and stand united.
The sellout of cities in the interest of a few is not a law of nature, but it is the consequence of an unchecked economic system and policy that has lost its compass of social responsibility. Together we can change that!
In recent years hundreds of thousands took to the streets in the name of fair rent policy and humane urban politics. The last of these gatherings took place on 6 April, 2018 during the Europe-wide day of action. This ongoing resistance stemming from countless initiatives in many cities has achieved what seemed unthinkable only a short time ago: a discussion surrounding nationwide rent caps and the expropriation of property from mammoth housing companies. In Frankfurt am Main, Osnabrück and Berlin the tenants were empowered take decisions concerning restructuring of municipal housing institutions. In Gera and Berlin entire settlements have been re-communalized. In addition, in many cities vacant houses are being squatted.
As a nationwide association of tenant initiatives and Right-To-The-City organizations, we demand:
1. Socially responsible rents and a fundamentally different renting law. No profits from rent
2. An end to forceful evictions and homelessness. Housing First in dignified apartments and a legally binding right to housing!
3. An end to vacant properties! We demand that the renting of speculatively vacated property be forced. Legalize occupations!
4. Genuine democratic co-determination and collective rights for tenants. We demand a say in the future of our homes!
5. A new non-profit status in the housing sector, an end to land speculation, a socialization of land ownership, the communalization of big housing companies. Living space and land is not merchandise!
6. A radical change of course in politics and economy: For a solidary and ecological urban development! Without asserting our right to housing, the rental madness will not stop.
Rent-seeking will prevail over social justice. We must continue to increase pressure! Join in at the worldwide Housing Action Day on 28.03.2020!
Together we stand in protest, resistance, solidarity and the prospect of alternatives!
Housing for people not for profits!
Aktionsbündnis gegen Verdrängung und Mietenwahnsinn (Action Alliance Against Displacement and Rent Madness), on the 29 October 2019