July 25, 2021

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BERLIN: Green light for referendum on acquisition of real estate companies

BERLIN: Green light for referendum on acquisition of real estate companies

Following the success of a petition that collected more than 300,000 signatures, Berlin officials gave the green light on Thursday to hold a referendum on the acquisition of large real estate companies in the German capital, which has been hit by a housing crisis.

The Berlin State Electoral Commission has confirmed the validity of 183,711 signatures out of 346,000 submitted, which he said in a statement “exceeded the number required to hold a referendum.”

Local Berlin law provides that a referendum is subject to a referendum if it is signed by 7% of the electorate or by more than 170,000 people.

The referendum is set to take place on September 26 during the Assembly and local elections. Berlin authorities have not yet verified this date.

Its purpose: To put an end to speculation about housing in the city, to force the municipality through a public and independent structure of the assets of companies with more than 3,000 housing units in Berlin.

Unbelievably a few years ago, the petition sparked the excitement of many Berliners, whose rents have risen to 3.7 million people in the city.

Prices rose by almost 85% between 2007 and 2019 due to the strong attraction of capital to investors and the lack of infrastructure for housing.

Large real estate companies are accused of being at the root of the situation, while only 20% of Berliners own their homes.

At the start of the project, the “Deutsche Wonnen Entikinen” joint venture has organized an extensive campaign to collect signatures since March, with posters, demonstrations and signs being released across the capital.

The German Constitutional Court recently rejected the iconic rent limits law passed by ForceFace last year by a majority of left municipalities, strengthening the mobilization.

In April, as part of a mega deal worth 19 billion euros, the announcement of a merger between the two companies in the sector, Deutsche Vonnen and Vonovia, was of great concern even beyond capital.

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