1. The rent madness in Hamburg has to end!
Rents in Hamburg have increased by 59.3% since 1999. In 2021 alone, the rent index rose by 7.3%.
Wages have barely risen in the same time. More and more people are affected by displacement.
With our referendum we want to fight this rent madness.
2. Real estate companies are mainly responsible for the rent madness
Rising rents, dubious service charges, senseless modernizations, heating failure in winter: Real
estate companies like Vonovia, Heimstadten and Co. are especially known for those problems. Their
business model is profit at the expense of tenants. They are “forced” to keep raising our rents –
because that’s the only way they can pay the high profits they promised their shareholders. Because
of their size, Vonovia & Co are particularly able to influence the rental market.
3. We want permanently affordable rents
Socialization could directly lower the rent in 70,000- 10,000 apartments. Because our rent would
then no longer have to pay the profit of Vonovia & Co. but only the actual costs. The rent reductions
would also have an impact on the rest of the housing market, because the falling rents would
depress the rent index. This helps all tenants.
4. We want to have a say
Not only in the private, but also in the public housing sector tenants have hardly any say. Through
the socialization, the co-determination and power of the tenants could be significantly expanded –
because the houses should be transferred to an institution under public law (AöR) and managed
under democratic participation of the city and tenants. We want to have a say when it comes to
renovation and climate protection, community spaces, courtyard greening and children’s
playgrounds, barrier-free apartments and alternative forms of housing.
5. The whole city benefits from socialization – including small businesses, culture and the social sector.
By socializing housing stock, Hamburg can solve problems for which politics today have no means.
Public ownership allows not only affordable rents, but also protection for small businesses, space
for art and alternative youth culture, decentralized housing for refugees or shelters from domestic
6. Expropriation is possible – as it is stated in the Constitution
With our referendum, we refer to Article 15 of the Constitution. It says: “Land […] can be
transferred into common property for the purpose of socialization […]”. In Berlin, several legal
studies have proven that the socialization of real estate groups is legally permissible. This is, for
example, the conclusion of the scientific service of the Bundestag.
7. Hamburg can afford socialization
Article 15 of the Constitution allows real estate companies to be compensated well below market
value. This compensation can be financed entirely from the rents of the socialized apartments.
Hamburg‘s state budget does not have to be burdened for this. Hamburg could take out a loan for
the socialization and repay it over the years from the rental income. After that, the apartments would
continue to generate income from which, for example, new construction could be financed. The
campaign Deutsche Wohnen und Co. enteignen in Berlin has shown how financing would be
possible on their website.
8. New building must be affordable
Large private housing companies rarely build new housing and if, then rather expensive luxury
houses or condominiums. Vonovia & Co‘s main business model is mainly buying up existing
apartments and raising the rent. Affordable housing is therefore created by housing associations.
Socialization creates a large housing company for the common good that can boost new
construction and shape it in a socially responsible way.