»There would still be space« (neue-deutschland.de)

From Berlin it is said again and again: We have space. Is that so?

We will have space when the accommodation on Columbiadamm in Tempelhof opens. We have been working on this for many months. Then we could use the Tempohomes again, which are there and which were only in use for almost two years. Ideally, that would be up to 800 places. Otherwise we currently have around 1000 free places in Berlin. That is not a lot with just under 20,000 residents.

So there would not only be space for the 300 refugees from Greece that Berlin wants to accept through the state admission program, but also for 300 more from Bosnia-Herzegovina, as is being demanded?

After the current situation and the pandemic-related lower number of refugees, there would still be room. However, we do not know how this will develop after the end of the pandemic, whether there will be post-migration to Berlin. Overall, we have a shortage of accommodation. Because the MUF

Alexander Straßmeir, President of the State Office for Refugee Affairs

Photo: nd / Ulli Winkler

(Modular accommodation for refugees, editor’s note)that were planned by the Senate have not been established in all districts.

To what extent undersupply?

A total of 38,000 MUF places should be set up in the districts. Of these, 7,000 are still missing. The plan was for each district to build two locations with 500 spaces each. That didn’t happen. There were also districts that say we have no space. Believe it or not.

Half of the residents in the refugee shelters, i.e. around 10,000 people, are actually homeless, for whose accommodation the districts are responsible. Why doesn’t this happen?

It is that our accommodations are of a better standard than most of the accommodations that use the boroughs. The districts often accommodate homeless people in accommodations that do not have quality management like our accommodations. They also put up in hostels where there is no social work or psychological care. Quite simply, there is a lack of district accommodation.

Is that why you are now also accommodating homeless people who have not fled?

Next week a single mother and her three children will move from an accommodation for homeless people to a refugee accommodation that is not very busy. This is a model project that we will analyze for future offers.

People sometimes stay in the accommodations for a long time. What would have to happen for that to change?

We simply need more apartments. The fact that people in Berlin live in accommodation for a very long time, even when they are no longer in the asylum procedure, is due to the housing shortage in Berlin.

Is there a need for a quota for state-owned housing companies?

Given the scarcity, the fact that we accommodated 2,000 people in apartments last year is a good achievement. But far from satisfying given the crowd looking for an apartment. I think having more housing is better than arguing about how the shortage is distributed.

Couldn’t a quota help anyway?

Most importantly, new homes are being built. People with a migration background are at a disadvantage when looking for accommodation, which is why easing the situation on the market is what would help our clients best.

In the pandemic, there are repeated calls to dissolve collective accommodation because you cannot keep your distance there and you cannot isolate yourself. Is this realistic?

We have taken a lot of measures. We have offered residents of accommodations with shared kitchens and bathrooms that they can temporarily move into vacant Tempohomes with their own bathroom and kitchen. That didn’t have a big impact. We have put a lot into hygiene measures and education. In the event of infections, we immediately brought those affected to parts of the accommodation where they have their own kitchen and sanitary unit, or brought them to our quarantine location.

What about accommodation in vacant hotels?

The advantage of accommodation over a hostel or hotel is that we have common rooms and kitchens. Often there is no such thing in hostels. How should the people look after themselves there? Above all, there is support from social workers and psychologists in LAF accommodation; a volunteer structure, for example help with homework for children. All of that would fall away. Accommodation in hotels sounds good at first, but it has major disadvantages. However, it will always have to be checked whether it is the better way in a changed situation.

How’s homeschooling going?

When it comes to e-learning, Berlin is not so well positioned anyway, which is twice as difficult for refugee children. Originally we only had WiFi access in common rooms. The pandemic taught us that this is not enough. We want to create WLAN access in all rooms. We have managed that 61 of our 78 accommodations, that is 78 percent, are now fully equipped with WiFi. This means that digital learning at home is also possible for the refugee children.

However, not every refugee child has a digital device.

It was good that the Senate Department for Education made devices available to schoolchildren. This has also achieved some refugee families. But the number of end devices is still too small.

How is the mood in the accommodations at the moment?

For the most part, I perceive our residents to be very sensible. It is clear that this is sometimes a psychological burden.

How often are residents and employees tested?

All those arriving at the arrival center are tested twice. Otherwise, employees and residents have the opportunity to be tested if there is a reason. We don’t test everyone on suspicion.

Subject vaccination: is there a vaccination strategy for refugee accommodation?

I have worked to ensure that we prefer the residents of the accommodation, as well as the employees, even further than was previously planned. I think it makes sense to vaccinate the whole facility at the same time.

The LAF was founded almost five years ago. What has improved since then and what still needs to be improved?

We have a significantly increased quality of our accommodation, nobody lives in emergency shelters anymore, nobody lives in gyms anymore. The accommodations we are building now are of a significantly higher standard. And we want to further improve the quality, towards more living-like forms and thus more independence.


Living in Berlin: construction boom suddenly (neue-deutschland.de)

Photo: dpa | Wolfgang Kumm

On Thursday, Senator of Finance Matthias Kollatz (SPD) mentioned the provisional new construction balance of the state-owned housing associations for 2020: the six companies have completed around 5,100 apartments. That would be almost 1,000 apartments more than the report submitted by the building authorities in summer 2020 had promised. The urban development administration is a little more cautious. “The number is based on a forecast from September 30, 2020,” says its spokeswoman Katrin Dietl when asked by “nd”. “We won’t have the final figures for about two weeks.”

According to nd information, there was a slump at the start of construction. Only around two thirds of the planned construction starts for 10,000 apartments took place in 2020. “We just need approvals and votes for our future projects,” says Gesobau CEO Jörg Franzen, who is also the state’s spokesman. That is difficult in view of the corona-related problems in the offices – the lack of home office ability and the assignment of employees to combat pandemics.

The occasion of the online press conference is the presentation of the report on the development of value creation by housing companies from 2016 to 2019. It was created on their behalf by the Pestel Institute. It should show their contribution to the economic development of Berlin. The companies spent almost 2.3 billion euros on goods and services in 2019. In 2016 it was just under 1.2 billion euros. The new building is the main reason for the increasing numbers. 80 percent of the money stayed in the capital, and another ten percent in Brandenburg.

Including wages, social security contributions and taxes, the economic impetus in 2019 was even more than 2.9 billion euros. In 2016 it was just under 1.7 billion. 78 cents of every euro stayed in Berlin, another ten cents flowed to Brandenburg. “These are absolutely top values, other companies might get 50 cents,” says study director Karin Janssen.

“Compared to us, the values ​​at Deutsche Wohnen would be significantly lower,” says Gesobau boss Franzen. And that applies to both new buildings and the contribution to the regional economy.

“Even if they lack tenant democracy, the state-owned housing associations show that public property means that rental income remains in Berlin,” says Ralf Hoffrogge from Deutsche Wohnen & Co to expropriate “nd”. “We aim to do the same with the expropriation candidates. Their income should stay in the city and support the local economy. Instead of luxury modernizations, however, we want to clear the renovation backlog in the existing building. These will be enormous orders that the trade can make a living on, ”says Hoffrogge.

The contribution of the state’s own to employment is great. Although only a little over 3,900 people worked directly for them in 2019, according to the study, the orders secure almost 27,000 jobs in Berlin, and even 48,000 across Germany. According to the State Statistical Office, the construction industry had to accept a drop in orders of 50 percent in November 2020 compared to the same month last year; calculated over the year, it was 20 percent. “We are definitely not responsible for that,” says Gesobau boss Franzen.

In order to be able to continue building so extensively, “despite all social acceptability”, a certain income situation is needed, “in order not to become care cases,” says Franzen, citing in particular the corona crisis and the rent cap as a problem. Since the “intensive talks” on the new cooperation agreement were still ongoing, this was not yet part of it. According to nd information, the talks should be concluded in a few weeks. The average rent per square meter for privately financed new buildings should then no longer be frozen at ten euros; in return, the social quota for occupancy should increase.
The application to initiate the expropriation referendum should be submitted on Monday, reports Ralf Hoffrogge. The collection of signatures can then begin on February 26th at the latest.


What the police shouldn’t forget about people with dementia (neue-deutschland.de)

It is as normal for people to become a bit forgetful in old age as the fact that many seniors can hear and see worse than in their youth. But this cannot be compared with the difficulties that arise with Alzheimer’s disease.

“The police are called first when everyone doesn’t know what to do next,” said Sabine Köpf on Wednesday in the state parliament’s health committee. Köpf heads the Brandenburg competence center dementia. There are such centers in many places in Germany. The center for the state of Brandenburg was launched in 2016. Since then, 2,653 relatives of demented patients have completed a one and a half hour nursing course with the help of the competence center. Social judges, general practitioners, taxi drivers, caretakers from housing associations, rural women – and police officers were also trained in dealing with people with dementia. Because the police are always or at least often alerted when the elderly have disappeared without being found or are found disoriented by passers-by.

It is possible that people who do not yet have severe dementia will continue to live in their own homes, it is possible that they will not have to go to a nursing home straight away. However, dealing with them requires sensitivity and some basic knowledge of suffering. The competence center offered all of the Brandenburg police stations to train their colleagues in this regard, reported Sabine Köpf. Before the corona lockdowns, however, only one police station could actually be visited by the experts.

Last year the competence center offered 44 courses. Some then had to be canceled because of the corona pandemic. “Our credo is that a training course like this should actually take place in every village of 200 people,” explained Sabine Köpf. According to her, it was helpful that it was possible to find a room for the training at a housing association in one place. That is lower threshold. In other words: it is easier for people to go there. Before that, they had to get together in a nursing home. But unfortunately that seemed a bit as if a nursing home was inevitable for dementia.

Around 67,000 Brandenburgers suffer from dementia. In 2009 only around 43,000 residents of the state were affected, but according to a forecast it will be more than 87,000 in 2030. This expectation has to do with demographic change.

Older people are more likely to suffer from dementia than younger people. In the age group of 65 to 69 year olds, it affects around 1.6 percent of people, in the age group of over 90 year olds it is around 40 percent. Younger people can also develop Alzheimer’s disease, but it is rare for them. It is estimated that there are only around 20,000 people with dementia who are younger than 65 years of age in the whole of Germany.

“We often talk about people with dementia, but we come to a point where we want to talk to those affected themselves,” said Sabine Köpf, who works with a small team – all women – in the competence center.

In the health committee, of course, Köpf could only talk about people with dementia and not with them. State parliament members such as Björn Lüttmann (SPD), Carla Kniestedt (Greens), Roswitha Schier (CDU) and Bettina Fortunato (left) had questions. For example, they wanted to know to what extent schools are involved in educational work. The base of the Alzheimer’s Society in Strausberg is in contact with schools, explained Sabine Köpf. But at the competence center, pupils are not the focus, even though the young people could have grandparents or great-grandparents with dementia.


Milieu protection: conversion in turbo mode (neue-deutschland.de)

In a high-rise building in Lichtenberg, some windows are illuminated.

Foto: picture alliance/dpa

The conversion of rental apartments into condominiums runs in turbo mode. In the first half of 2020, the owners submitted applications for almost 5,300 apartments in the 61 milieu protection areas that existed at the time – almost as many as in the whole of 2019. This emerges from the monitoring report of the urban development administration. Around 12,700 apartments were converted across Berlin in 2019. “In milieu protection areas, almost half of the apartments are converted, even though only a quarter of the existing property is there,” said Michail Nelken, housing policy spokesman for the left-wing parliamentary group at the Pankow tenants’ forum on Tuesday evening. “Nightmare Conversion – The End of Tenant City?” Was the title under which the online event was held.

Often houses are divided up for stocks, an immediate sale is not intended. Especially since in milieu protection areas the division into property is only approved with the obligation to sell only to the tenants within seven years. There is protection against dismissal for personal use for another five years. A “very perfidious loophole” is what Caren Lay, rent politician for the left-wing parliamentary group in the Bundestag, calls the seven-year rule. Your SPD colleague Klaus Mindrup speaks of a “gray hardware store that is not used for renting, but for unleasing”.

»With the current purchase prices, an affordable apartment is definitely going to be lost. Because once it has been sold, it can no longer be rented out at a reasonable price, ”says Christoph Trautvetter, who studies the housing market for the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, which is part of the Left Party. The sales prices in Wilhelminian style districts are meanwhile around 5000 euros per square meter. Significantly more returns than can be achieved by renting. For example, the investment funds Berlin High End from Denmark and Phoenix Spree Germany from the British Channel Island of Jersey are busy participating in the split business. Both have now divided around three quarters of their total of almost 5,000 apartments in Berlin. You bought the houses around 2007, “when they were available at junk prices of around 1,000 euros per square meter,” reports Trautvetter. Now the remaining quarter of the apartments will be divided. With an empty, divided apartment, twice the square meter price can be achieved than with a rental house that is offered as a whole.

For many months the black-red coalition has been arguing about an amendment to the building code. The bill contains a new form of restricting the sale of condominiums. A maximum of one third of the apartments per house should therefore be allowed to be sold in communities where a tight housing market has been officially identified. “According to the current state of the debate, it would mean that the situation for milieu protection areas would be worse,” says Reiner Wild, managing director of the Berlin tenants’ association. The seven-year rule would no longer apply. The implementation of the proposed new regime raises many questions.

“The Union tries with all its might to prevent any legal improvement in the situation of tenants,” complains Caren Lay. “A large part of the discussion has to do with our desolate pension system,” explains Wild. Many people invested their money in apartments. “Every penny that is not paid is treated as a personal attack on retirement benefits. That is extremely stressful. «The financial market is the actual basis of the rent madness.


Not necessary for unrenovated apartments (neue-deutschland.de)

The questions often arise because the contracts are often signed 10, 20 or even more years ago. If these are then ended, it is important to check which regulations can still apply according to current case law.

So also in the decision of the District court Berlin-Schöneberg (Az. 107 C 224/19), to which the Working Group on Tenancy Law and Real Estate from the German Lawyers Association (DAV) refers.

It was about the termination of the rental agreement, with the landlord listing a large number of alleged violations: The tenant did not use the apartment and had not carried out the contractual cosmetic repairs.

However, the court clearly rejected all of these reasons. On the one hand, the judge found that the tenant was entitled, but not obliged, to use the apartment. There is currently no obligation to use it. The tenant had also not violated the obligation to carry out cosmetic repairs. There was a corresponding clause in the rental agreement; but this is ineffective.

The Federal Court of Justice (Az. VII ZR 185/14) had stipulated in 2005 that the transfer of cosmetic repairs is not possible if the tenant takes over an unrenovated apartment at the beginning of the rental period. Exceptions are conceivable if the tenant does not receive a renovated apartment at the start of the rental, but receives a different compensation, e.g. B. the first two months are rent-free and can be used for renovation.

There was no such compensation in this case, so that the tenant was not obliged to carry out cosmetic repairs. The refusal thus did not constitute a breach of contract. There was no reason for termination. The landlord’s action had no prospect of success and was dismissed. DAV / nd


Job center pays too little for rent (neue-deutschland.de)

“Reasonable” rents for welfare recipients are often unrealistically low.

“Reasonable” rents for welfare recipients are often unrealistically low.

Photo: dpa / Stefan Sauer

In addition to the standard rate, those who receive Hartz IV are also entitled to the cost of accommodation and heating. However, only in an “appropriate” amount. What exactly this means is not clearly defined by law and depends on local conditions. The regionally different high average prices per square meter should be taken into account. An “appropriate” apartment size for a single person is usually given if the apartment is no larger than 45 to 50 square meters. However, the local rental prices per square meter are not always set realistically. A judgment of the Hessian social court makes this clear.

A woman from Eschwege sued in 2016 because she had not recognized the benefits for the rent amount set by the Werra-Meißner job center in the Kassel administrative district. The 55-year-old has to pay around 375 euros a month for her rent, but the job center only paid her monthly housing costs of 274 euros. More is not “appropriate”. She had to pay the difference from her Hartz IV standard rate. The basis for the decision of the job center was an expert opinion by the company “Analyze und Konzept” from Hamburg, which advertises its “advice for the housing and real estate industry of tomorrow” on its homepage.

The Werra-Meißner district had taken the report as the basis for reducing accommodation costs in the social benefits. However, the housing market survey by Analysis and Concepts is not legitimate. The Social Court of Kassel came to this conclusion in 2018 and sentenced the job center concerned to grant the plaintiff higher benefits. However, the job center appealed against the judgment at the time. At the end of 2020, the Second Chamber of the Kassel Social Court ruled in three rulings that the housing market survey was still inconclusive and therefore not applicable even after a »improvement« from 2019.

Now the Werra-Meißner job center has withdrawn the appeal before the Hessian State Social Court. Lawyer Sven Adam, who represented the plaintiff, assumes that the job center wanted to prevent a negative decision by the Hessian state social court. “It is now to be expected that the job center will also give up on all still open proceedings and make substantial and interest-bearing back payments,” explains Adam in a press release last Friday. Peter Menges is also of the opinion that the judgment will mean great financial relief for many other welfare recipients. Menges is the deputy chairman of the Owei unemployment initiative from Witzenhausen, also in the Werra-Meißner district of Hesse. He himself is also affected by the underpaid rental costs. In 2015, he and 26 other victims had already sued in court because the job center did not pay the full rates for the rental costs. “They didn’t stick to the local rent index, but simply estimated the square meter prices through the expertise of› Analyze and Concepts ‹,” he explains to “nd.DerTag”.

Since 2015 Menges has had to cut 150 euros from his standard rate for his rent. In 2019, the Hartz IV standard rate for single people was 424 euros per month. So he only had around 274 euros to live on. The Hartz IV standard rate is already below the poverty line anyway. “Actually I have to pay even more rent, Witzenhausen is a student town, the rents are enormous,” says Menges. Finding a smaller apartment is also impossible. Since he knows the landlord personally, his rent would be extremely cheap at 450 euros. But the job center did not even want to pay that.

At first he went to the blackboard in order to survive, later he only got by with the help of acquaintances. “Then I stopped going to the blackboard because I didn’t want to support it politically,” explains Menges, who is also active in the local association of the Left. Because of the ruling by the Social Court of Hesse, he expects to get around 6,000 euros back from the job center for unapproved rental costs. Together with fellow campaigners, he is now working to ensure that the Werra-Meißner district repays the housing costs to those who have not complained.


Ikea makes fun of the new PS5 – living

The size of the “PlayStation 5” is currently causing a stir. Ikea now wants to make life easier for gamers with a cardboard dummy.

Shortly after the release, the size of the latest generation of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X game consoles from Sony and Microsoft made for a lot of talking point. Especially for the new PS5, with a height of almost 40 centimeters, a width of over 10 centimeters and a depth of 26 centimeters, it should be difficult to find a place on the TV shelf at home.

Above all, the question of whether the PS5 fits into an Expedit shelf, a well-known standard shelf from the Ikea range, preoccupied fans online.

The solution

A problem to which the Swedish furniture store Ikea responded promptly with a humorous solution: Cardboard dummies in the form of a PS5 and Xbox Series X should make it easier for gamers to buy furniture – of course only after the lockdown.

A user posted a photo of the boxes on Reddit:

Ikea also jokingly printed on the PS5 box: “Which Ikea media furniture does my new, meme-like disproportionate game console fit into?”

Apparently a great idea, as the comments below the post show. After all, nobody really wants to take their brand new console to a furniture store to see if it fits on the new shelf.

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Rents in large cities also rose in the crisis (neue-deutschland.de)

Berlin. According to the Immowelt portal, no trend reversal can be observed in the corona crisis year 2020. The ongoing corona pandemic therefore had no noticeable impact on asking rents. In over four fifths of the big cities, the square meter prices for apartments with 40 to 120 square meters continued to rise in the past year. This is shown by a year-on-year comparison by Immowelt for 80 German cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. In particular, rents in megacities continue to rise. In other already high-priced metropolises, living is also becoming more expensive. Accordingly, apartment hunters in large cities in eastern Germany also have to pay higher prices for new rentals, but the level remains lower in a Germany-wide comparison. According to Immowelt, the catchment area of ​​metropolitan areas will also increase and become more expensive in view of increasing home office quotas, since those looking for accommodation with the option to work from home will not shy away from further commutes if they no longer have to commute daily. The catchment area of ​​large metropolitan areas could become even larger.

From April to June 2020, there was an extended protection against dismissal in order to cushion the economic consequences of the corona pandemic. Arrears in payment from April 1 to June 30, 2020 do not entitle the landlord to terminate the contract – for a period of 24 months. This restriction applied to cases in which the residues are based on the effects of the corona pandemic. Only if the tenant has not paid the arrears after June 30, 2022, can the tenant be terminated. But the measure was not extended despite the ongoing crisis. Comment on page 8


Cleaning as an art form: “We are slaves to our furniture” – style

Order makes sense. But the ideal of a sparkling clean home does one thing above all: It puts us under pressure, says the architects and artists “Honey & Bunny”. A conversation about cleaning.

Interview by

Violetta simon

Sonja Stummerer and Martin Hablesreiter, known as the artist duo “Honey & Bunny”, zoom in from the living room of an old apartment in Vienna. In their work, the two architects deal with the supposedly banal aspects of our everyday culture. In their first book “Fooddesign” they question our eating habits. In their new photo book “Cleaning – a cultural technique” they show a seemingly secondary activity in a new light. And come to surprising results: cleaning is political.


Three square meters are no place to stay (neue-deutschland.de)

Bernd has had his own apartment in Cologne for a month. Even with a balcony. He’s particularly pleased. He lived on the streets in Berlin for five years after his partner at the time showed him out. The fact that he can now turn up the heating when it gets cold outside is also due to a small living box in which he spent his last year on the street. “Without them it would have been very difficult for me to get off the street,” says the 67-year-old looking back.

Tiny houses are also called these living boxes, which are supposed to offer homeless people a roof over their heads in a minimal space. For Bernd, his tiny house was an intermediate step between homelessness and his own apartment. Critics, on the other hand, see such mini houses as a step backwards behind historically fought for living standards.

Whether under the name Lesshomes, Molo or Schlichthäuser, there are always initiatives that build tiny houses for the homeless in Berlin. The best known is the Little Home association founded by Sven Lüdecke, of which there are currently around 50 living boxes in the capital. The living boxes made of wood are 3.2 square meters in size. Inside there is a mattress, a camping toilet and a work surface. That’s not much, admits Lüdecke. But not having to ask yourself every day where to sleep and where luggage can be hidden changes a lot. »Anyone who moves into one of the Little Homes needs a week to relax. But then they call us and ask for help finding an apartment. “

Bernd also lived in one of the club’s living boxes. Together with Little Home, he managed to apply for his pension and look after an apartment. That was unthinkable before, he says. For the club’s founder, Lüdecke, Bernd’s story is not a one-off success. According to him, over 30 formerly homeless people across Germany made the detour to their own apartment last year via Little Home. “The living boxes are not a panacea,” says Sabine Bösing from the Federal Association for Homeless Aid. She does not want to deny that they can be an emergency solution. But they are not a suitable answer to end homelessness. “Instead of tiny houses, there is a need for non-discriminatory access to decent accommodation and, last but not least, increased social housing in the municipalities.” In Germany, the municipalities are obliged to accommodate people who have involuntarily become homeless. For these regulatory accommodations, in which around 34,000 people live in Berlin, minimum standards have been confirmed by the court. “With the establishment of tiny houses, there is a risk that such historically fought-for living standards will be permanently lowered,” says Bösing. Housing conditions that had been overcome from the beginning of the 20th century would be accepted again and create a threatening backdrop for everyone at risk of losing their homes. “Then social initiatives would no longer just build tiny houses, but profit-oriented companies would exploit this substandard,” she fears.

Sven Lüdecke can partially understand the criticism. When asked whether he would rather have 500 instead of 50 Little Homes in Berlin, he answers no. “I’m really scared that our project will turn into something like the blackboard.” An initiative that used to be small and that politicians now point with the finger instead of doing their job, as he says. Little Home is aimed at around five percent of the homeless. Those without a drug or alcohol problem, who have the will to leave the streets but cannot be reached by other offers of help. For the majority, however, the conditions in the accommodations would have to improve. Above all, several people should no longer have to share a room. That is crucial, he thinks.

While Lüdecke wants the living boxes to be understood primarily as a stopover, Jörg Richert, board member at the Karuna social cooperative, believes that tiny houses can also be a suitable permanent solution for some. There are enough homeless people who do not want to move into an apartment again because they are afraid of failure again. You have to take them seriously. “With tiny houses, their living conditions would improve significantly,” he says. Together with the Berlin University of the Arts, Karuna developed a model for a tiny house that is larger and more comfortable than the living boxes.

While the construction costs for the Little Homes are 1000 euros, a tiny house, as Richert imagines, ranks in the price range of a new car. In Seattle, USA, a year and a half ago, he looked at such tiny houses with a material value of 35,000 US dollars. In Berlin he hopes to launch the first such tiny house this year. Such houses are to be financed by a small rent or the daily rates that were previously paid for proper accommodation. In the future, this could help several thousand homeless people in Berlin, according to Richard’s vision.

The criticism of such dimensions is that they lead to slums. Because residents of tiny houses are dependent on the owner of the property tolerating them. The difference between tolerance and tenancy law could be seen, for example, in 2019 on Mariannenplatz in Kreuzberg, when two tiny houses were demolished in the run-up to the »Myfest«. Unwanted in attractive places in the city, the residents then concentrate on the few places from which they will not be driven, so the fear of the critics.

Karuna board member Richert countered that there was a need for spaces in the city that would become a meeting zone for neighbors and on which two to three tiny houses with a secure status could stand.

The Senate Department for Social Affairs also says that there should be places for homeless people in the city where they can “live independently in tiny houses and are not evicted.”

Stefan Schneider, coordinator of the self-advocacy of homeless people, cannot understand why she supports tiny houses, despite all the praise he usually has for Social Senator Elke Breitenbach (left). “It is the arrogance of the residents to determine what is reasonable for the homeless.” One should not be satisfied with such a substandard. The solution could only be the apartment secured by the rental contract. That is what we have to fight for. Schneider advises anyone considering tiny houses to accommodate the homeless should ask themselves: would I exchange my apartment for it?