- Voters in Berlin backed a non-binding referendum to forcibly buy housing owned by major property companies because of public anger over rising rents.
- The vote highlights the frustration over housing inequality seen worldwide and is becoming a thorn in the side of many governments.
- “This result has given the issues of rents and housing a new importance in Berlin,” Rouzbeh Taheri told reporters. “No political party will be able to ignore that.”
“Voters in Berlin backed a non-binding referendum to forcibly buy housing owned by large property companies in the German capital amid public anger over rising rents.
The proposal, which got 56% support, could mean transferring about 226,000 apartments into public hands if enacted. That includes those of Deutsche Wohnen SE, which owns more than 100,000 units in the city, and Vonovia SE.
The vote reflects frustration about housing inequality that’s being seen around the world, and which is proving an increasing headache for governments.
In Berlin, where more than 84% of the population are tenants, it underscores the divide between people feeling squeezed out of an increasingly expensive rental market and those who want to maintain the city as a hub that attracts companies, capital and housing investment. It’s unclear whether the next local government will follow through with the plan, which could lead to lengthy legal battles and billions of euros in costs…”
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