“Stop Heimstaden” is a grassroots tenants’ initiative, which was formed on 21 October 2020 as a reaction to the sale of over 130 houses in Berlin to Heimstaden with the support of the Mieter:innengewerkschaft (tenants’ trade union), the IniForum Berlin and further tenants’ initiatives. We are connecting tenants within each house, as well as networking districts by forming local groups.
The initiative consists of tenants of the houses which are being sold. In the last few months, Heimstaden Bostad AB with the help of its contracted investment company Skjerven Group has bought at least 130 apartment buildings in Berlin with 3902 flats at the cost of around 830 million Euros. In total they have probably bought nearly 150 houses and over 4000 flats.
The initiative demands that the right of refusal for the buying of houses in a Milieuschutz (social environment) be granted to a third party which is orientated on public welfare, so that developed neighbourhood structures can be maintained. The sale must be based on the socially acceptable value of the houses and not on current speculation prices.
Further central demands include a political solution for houses taken out of the Milieuschutz and the deployment of active protection for tenants against Heimstaden. We demand that politicians in parliament, and in particular the Berlin senate administration for finance and urban development make more financial resources available for the necessary subsidies for a sale by a socially acceptable company or cooperative.
We demand basically affordable living spaces, the development of a social living culture and the introduction of strong protection for tenants, including small businesses. We demand the end of the sale of the city to investors and speculators like Heimstaden. We are many, we are loud, and we’re sticking together.
Summary of our demands:
Affordable living space for all – through the building of more social housing and systematically reconverting of private to public housing
A universal ban of converting public housing to private condominiums
A universal ban of leaving properties empty, leading to appropriation where appropriate
Right to decide for all tenants through tenants’ councils
Protection and support of threatened cultural and social projects
Implementation of the right to live as a human right