October 26, 2021

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Berliners vote in a referendum to expropriate big real estate companies

Berliners vote in a referendum to expropriate big real estate companies

The Social Democratic Socialist Party and the Green Party, which are ranked first and second in Berlin, want to take the referendum result seriously, although the leader of the local Social Democrats has criticized it in the past. She is still critical, but believes that the referendum result should be respected. She wants a bill to follow, which could also withstand constitutional scrutiny.

The Greens are also open to talk of expropriating hundreds of thousands of homes. But that party’s candidate, Bettina Garach, has already indicated that politicians must be honest about the chances of implementing the referendum result. “There are still many legal and practical issues to be resolved,” she told the DPA news agency.

Alternatively, it called for a voluntary agreement between politicians, landlords and other stakeholders for more new construction and fair rents. “Real estate owners have this in their hands,” she said.

Real estate companies: This does not help

Property group Vonovia says the referendum will not help solve problems in Berlin’s housing market. According to the company, the deadlock has been threatening for years. “We need more togetherness rather than confrontation,” CEO Rolf Buch said in a statement.

The company says it is ready to build 13,000 homes in Berlin in the coming years. Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen also want to freeze rents for the next five years.

Meanwhile, Vonovia is busy acquiring Deutsche Wohnen. The company now owns more than half of the shares in Deutsche Wonen.