Speculated demo: The housing issue is the future of the city

Couples who no longer love each other stay in an apartment, families of four live in two rooms. In Munich, people have not only taken to the streets against the housing shortage – but also for a colorful coexistence.


    There is a fear in Munich: the fear of living. But fear is never a good guide. That's why the people of Munich cheered her on Saturday happy and peaceful, but loudly stood up. The big tenant demonstration "speculation" has made the policy clear: It can not continue like this.


    Housing is a fundamental right, in the Bavarian Constitution, Article 106, this sounds like this: "Every resident of Bavaria has the right to adequate housing." The reality is different. Who has a reasonably passable apartment, it does not move better. Because finding something new and affordable – that has become almost impossible in Munich. Therefore, couples who no longer love each other stay in the same apartment. Therefore, four-person families live in two rooms. That's why old people do not even get the idea of ​​leaving their apartment, which is much too big, for a smaller one, they usually pay more. This is called the lock-in effect: locked in your own home.

"We will not drive us away"

Existence becomes the concern, if in the city with the highest rents in Germany a strong rent increase comes fluttering into the house. If the landlord terminates for own use. When the house is bought by an investor who has luxuriously modernized to be able to collect twice as much afterwards – or convert the apartments into ownership.


    It was a balmy evening in June when around 90 people met for the first tenant meeting in a small Munich pub. Yes, the fear of living was there. But something different that evening prevailed: optimism. The idea to organize a demonstration was born in that little pub. What the initiators, all in different ways affected by Mietwahnsinn, now have in three months on the legs, is impressive. With their so-called excerpt of the Munich they have shown what the city might one day be missing. If only those with the most money are welcome, the rich city will be poorer. Simple-minded, less colorful.


    The city of Munich has recognized the urgency, it now draws on all the possibilities that are available to her. In new housing estates, it allocates a large proportion of its land to cooperatives, which provide their members with affordable housing in the long term. Recently, the city council has decided on a rental price brake for the city-owned apartments. The conservation statute, which is to serve the environmental protection, has been tightened, the loopholes for investors have become closer. Of course, all of this comes years too late. It is not enough. And the decisive steps for a sensible housing policy are made in Berlin.


    The people of Munich did not only take to the streets for affordable housing on Saturday, but also against social exclusion. Both are inseparable. Saturday was nothing less than the question of what the city should look like in the future.

Tenants of all cities, unite!
                        The subject of living becomes a social issue of our time. Can this lead to a social movement that actually changes something?
                    Essay by Hannah Beitzer