D.he Berlin Greens can imagine the expropriation of housing groups in order to secure affordable rents and enforce the right to housing for everyone. At a party congress on Saturday, the delegates supported the goal of a referendum that had been running since February with a large majority. At the same time, in the decision on the Greens program for the House of Representatives election on September 26th, they made it clear that “qualitative criteria” had to be drawn up for the question of which companies could be expropriated. “We are critical of the discussion about purely quantitative upper limits,” it said.
An alliance of tenant initiatives wants to “socialize” real estate companies with more than 3,000 apartments, ie expropriate them for billions in compensation under state law. The aim is to stop the rise in rents. On February 26th, the alliance started a collection of signatures for a referendum that could lead to a referendum. This would take place parallel to the election of the House of Representatives.
The guiding principle of “property obliges” laid down in the Basic Law must also be enforced in the area of housing and land, it is now said in the Green election manifesto. The key is to protect tenants, put a stop to speculation and increase the proportion of the housing stock that is oriented towards the common good to 50 percent.
“We would like the circumstances not to force us to use socialization as a last resort in order to be able to fulfill the constitutional mandate,” emphasize the Greens. “If housing companies refuse to meet their social responsibility, the public sector, supported by a referendum, will defuse the tense situation on the housing market with this step.”
The Greens decision reveals a conflict on this issue within the red-red-green coalition and could be a burden for possible negotiations to continue the alliance after the election. The SPD is strictly against expropriations. The left, on the other hand, is in favor and actively supports the collection of signatures.
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