Berlin (dpa) – The successful referendum on the expropriation of large housing groups in Berlin is likely to keep the future governing parties busy in their coalition talks and beyond.
The “Initiative Deutsche Wohnen & Co expropriate” announced already started on Monday to keep up the pressure. “Only if we are strong will the government be forced to implement this proposal,” said its spokesman, Rouzbeh Taheri, on RBB-Inforadio.
We know all the tricks », added his speaker colleague Kalle Kunkel. “We won’t give up until the socialization of housing groups has been implemented.”
“Respect” and “take seriously” the decision
SPD top candidate Franziska Giffey announced on Monday to respect the will of the population. “It must now also be the drafting of such a bill,” she said on Monday in the RBB Inforadio. “But this draft must then also be examined under constitutional law.” Giffey had always spoken out against expropriation during the election campaign.
The Green top candidate Bettina Jarasch also called on Monday to take the result seriously. “That belongs in coalition negotiations,” Jarasch told the German press agency on Monday. But she also limited: Politicians must check whether an implementation of the citizens’ vote for expropriations is feasible. “There are still many legal and practical questions to be clarified for such a law.”
Jarasch promoted her concept of a “rental protection umbrella”, ie a voluntary pact between politicians, landlords and other parties involved, as an alternative for new buildings and fair rents. “It’s up to the housing companies,” she said.
Senate should develop a legal basis
The Berliners had voted in a referendum by the “Deutsche Wohnen Expropriate & Co »pronounced for the expropriation of housing groups. 56, 4 percent of voters voted for 39, 0 percent against on Sunday. According to the text of the resolution, the Senate is now called upon to “initiate all measures” that are necessary for the transfer of real estate into common ownership and to draft a law for this purpose. However, the referendum is not legally binding for the future Berlin government.
On the other hand, the opponents of the initiative have meanwhile taken a stand. In Berlin’s largest housing group, Deutsche Wohnen, against which the referendum was primarily directed, the former competitor Vonovia claims to have secured the majority of the voting rights.
Vonovia CEO Rolf Buch warned on Monday before a game in view of the many open legal questions. “Even after the decision, a responsible policy has the opportunity to work out more constructive solutions together with all players in the Berlin housing market, which nevertheless address the concerns of many Berliners that they will no longer be able to afford their apartment in the future,” he said on Monday with.
Not constitutionally possible?
The Real Estate Association of Germany was also of the opinion that the goals of the referendum could not be cast into a law in a constitutional manner. “For reasons of proportionality and the principle of equality alone, an expropriation law cannot be constitutionally established,” the association announced on Monday. Apartments in Berlin, insofar as they pursue an “intention to make a profit”. These are to be socialized, i.e. expropriated against compensation and transferred to an institution under public law. This would affect around 240. 000 apartments, about 15 percent of Berlin’s rental housing stock – a billion-dollar and legally controversial one Endeavor.
In Berlin, the level of asking rents in particular has risen sharply in recent years. Even normal earners have a hard time finding affordable accommodation in many parts of the city.