Berlin has launched a Europe-wide initiative for affordable housing. EU citizens can now participate in the collection of signatures issued by the German Trade Union Confederation and supported by the tenants' association. "We must not leave Europe to the financial markets and economic liberals," said Reiner Wild of the German Tenants' Association.
Among other things, the initiators call on the EU to facilitate social housing and to reduce public investment in housing from EU rules to national ones public debt to free. Non-profit housing developers should also have faster access to EU funding.
The initiative has one year to collect at least one million signatures from at least seven EU Member States. At least 72,000 signatures would have to come from Germany alone. If the initiative is successful, the EU Commission and the EU Parliament must deal with the demands. If necessary, the Commission will then have to prepare a proposal for implementation.
"Europe is in a deep housing crisis"
"With the human right to housing today, Europe is speculated in unbelievable extent," said the spokeswoman for citizens' initiative, Karin Zauner-Lohmeyer. As a result, people across Europe would be overburdened by housing costs, displaced from cities and, in the worst case, homeless. "One can say: Europe is in a deep housing crisis," said Zauner-Lohmeyer.
Rents and real estate prices have been rising in many metropolitan areas in Europe for years, especially low-income households can hardly afford flats there. This has to do with the fact that these cities are attractive, but the land is limited. Because, moreover, there was enough living space in Germany, for example, since the eighties the federal government and the municipalities have withdrawn from the social housing back, public funding from housing was severely curtailed.
From the 1990s, some municipalities with financial problems sold public and publicly subsidized housing to private companies. In the meantime, rents have risen sharply. To the extent that a political debate has begun in Germany over the expropriation of private real estate companies. In Berlin, a citizens' initiative has started that calls for that; This is very controversial in politics.