The Anmeldung (registration of residence) is one of the first and biggest hurdles that people moving to Berlin have to face. Without Anmeldung, you cannot open a bank account, nor can you obtain a tax ID. Both are prerequisites for obtaining a work contract in Germany. Without a job, however, it is practically impossible to find housing. For many migrants the vicious circle of Anmeldung means exclusion from basic rights and services that are essential to leading a dignified life.
We demand universal Anmeldung for all Berliners through the creation of a new municipal institution specifically for this purpose, where it would be possible to provisionally register and receive mail.
We demand the decriminalization of solidarity actions from the civilian population. False registrations (Scheinanmeldungen) are not a crime, but a reaction to the housing crisis and the bureaucratic obstacle of the Anmeldung.
We demand a solution to the housing crisis as well as to the Anmeldung problem. For this, it is necessary to build new affordable housing, but also to remove many of those properties that already exist from the market circuit and socialize them.
Why is it so difficult to register your residence in Berlin?
Anyone who has ever looked for an apartment or a room in the German capital knows how difficult it is to find an affordable place to live. Financial speculation has turned housing into a commodity and rents are continuously on the rise. Faced with a huge supply problem in the affordable housing stock, new Berliners especially, but long-established Berliners as well, often can only find rooms or apartments to sublet and, in most cases, only on a temporary basis. Many WGs (shared apartments) are only offered with the restriction “No Anmeldung” because of the strict control exercised by the landlords. The landlords can check who is staying in the apartments and often refuse permission to sublet so that they can cancel existing contracts. That way, they are able to rent or sell the property for an updated and more profitable price.
What basic rights depend on the Anmeldung?
Without the Anmeldung it is almost impossible to open a bank account or obtain a tax ID: two necessary conditions for finding formal employment in Germany. Nor is it possible to access public services such as health insurance, or the various state subsidies available to cover housing (Wohngeld), family (Kindergeld) and study costs (BAföG). People are also excluded from the fundamental democratic right to register a public assembly or protest (Versammlungsrecht). Last but not least, the presentation of an Anmeldung is often a condition for the visa application and renewal.
Who is particularly affected by the vicious circle of the Anmeldung?
Finding housing and therefor Anmeldung in Berlin is a major obstacle for anyone who does not come from a wealthy family. However, migrants are particularly affected by this situation because compared to people born and raised in Germany, migrants have fewer contacts and less robust networks. They also do not have the same knowledge of their rights, the language and the local bureaucracy. For migrants without EU citizenship, the consequences are even more serious, insofar as their residence in the country depends directly on the Anmeldung. For the same reason, the risk of sexual aggression, abuse and other types of violence, especially against women and queer people, increases.
People born in Germany usually already have a tax ID, a bank account and an Anmeldung at some previous place of residence. However, they also cannot apply for state benefits if they are not registered in the Bundesland (federal state) in which they live.
We strive for a society in which access to basic rights such as housing and work does not depend on bureaucratic hurdles, discriminatory practices, or the will of the market. We want a society in which the shaping of urban space is a social practice and not the result of the pursuit of profit; a society in which housing is a right and not a commodity!
Join our struggle!
Sign this appeal. The more official supporters of the campaign appear with their logo on the posts and flyers, the more weight we can give to the demands. If you would like to sign the appeal with your organization, association or other collective or if you would like to work as part of the campaign, please send us an email to: email@example.com
Spread the word about the campaign. We would be delighted if you spread the appeal to make more people aware of the vicious cycle of Anmeldung and this campaign. Talk to friends, acquaintances and family about the issue, make them aware of the problem and share the campaign’s post on your social media channels.
Tuesday, December 5th, Grüner Salon, Rosa Luxemburg Platz 2