We want housing! – A campaign by the Alliance Stop Eviction

1. The city in the housing crisis
We are facing a housing crisis. Housing is becoming a scarce good. More and more people have to leave their neighbourhoods, because they can no longer afford to pay the rent. Cancellation of rental contracts and evictions are becoming more and more frequent in areas affected by gentrification and for low-income earners and people receiving social welfare. Frequently, people no longer move house, even if their household is growing. They can’t find new flats – in spite of the recently introduced rental control.

Homeless people and people threatened by eviction are practically excluded from the housing market. Also for people who receive ALGII (unemployment benefit), people with debts (bad credit entry, “Schufa”) or otherwise deprived, there is almost no housing. The welfare system that is supposed to prevent homelessness is collapsing. Newly arriving refugees don’t even receive the possibility of having access to normal flats – they are designated to live in lagers, containers or „modular accomodations“ (MUFs).
For the landlords the crisis is great: The bigger the housing shortage, the more profit they make. They make money by re-letting of flats after evictions. They make money through rent increases that force people to terminate rental contracts. They profitas operators of lagers and residential accommodations thanks to skyrocketing daily rates from the Berlin Senate.

2. We want housing!
This profit-making just causes problems for us. We don’t want to live in a city, in which the competition and the fear of losing our flats is making us sick day by day. For us the solution tothe housing crisis is very easy. We want housing – ASAP!
We need housing that is available for all – no matter how much we can pay, how long we live in the city and whether we have papers or not. We have the right to receive good housing!
With the campaign „We want housing“ we intervene in the public discussion around housing supply. We undertake direct actions, organise events and do media-work, and we seek to permanently and persistently show presence in front of those responsible for and profiting from the housing crisis. We want to highlight the structural mechanism and causes of the housing crisis.

We are convinced of the following:

1) We need new constructions – beyond the mechanism of the market. We need affordable and good housing for all and not only for those who can afford it!
2) Redistribution of housing now: actually some have 180 square meters with luxurious balcony and free standing kitchen, while other have 6 square meters and no privacy.
3) Housing should not be a commodity! As long as there is a housing market, there will always be evictions and inhumane living conditions for the ones deprived by society.
In this context, we send our greetings to all the independent initiatives that are struggling for housing for all, be it in form of direct actions on the streets, by organising in the neighbourhood, or by formulating concrete proposals in the area of construction and housing supply.

3. Participate!

„We want housing“ is a campaign from the Alliance Stop Eviction. The campaign is open to everybody and you are very welcome to to participate. For that purpose we offer “meetings for new participants”, public workshops and other possibilities for involvement. We meet every two weeks for organizational purposes; in these meetings we discuss, for example, our strategy or our timetable. We also meet every two weeks to prepare concrete actions, produce materials or to put other things into practice.
With our campaign we want to address all non-parliamentary groups that are fighting for affordable, good and accessible housing for all. For that purpose we don’t want regular networking meetings but practical support. For example, we can make an action together, write a text or share our knowledge and experiences from our political practice. In as much as we are asking for practical support, we are also approachable for involvement in other contexts.
The campaign should also be a place for people that are directly affected by housing shortage. We are following the 1:1 principle: For every action aimed at public attention for those responsible for the housing crisis, we making an action directed at the organisation of the affected of the housing-crisis. We mobilize in the daily lives of people and at the places of homelessness and want to draw public attention to the situation of the ones affected by housing shortage.
Thereby we try to take into account the different situations of people without homes, living in lagers, under threat of displacement, and actively work against the division among each other. We voice our central demand “We want housing” as those who are directly or in the long run affected by the housing crises.
Whether homeless, affected by eviction or tenants who are asking themselves how they should ever find a flat in the city: We will continue to appear where profit is made from housing. Where those responsible for the housing crisis sit. Where the political decisions are taken. We will express our anger everywhere and claim our demands loud and persistently! Do you want to join?

Contact: wiwowo[at]riseup.net