Dear tenants and home owners,

12.09.11 –

With our letters we would like to support your decision-making at the Berlin City parliament elections on September 18th. Please let yourself be convinced to cast your vote for the Greens!

Your living space is important to us. We all need affordable, well-insulated appartments and houses in Berlin. This is a matter of quality of life and social justice. In our opinion, housing must not be a luxury!

Rents are increasing in Berlin. It is a problem that long-time residents are forced out of their neighborhoods because their rent becomes too high. This is happening right now and transforms whole districts. We do not want separate housing zones for rich and poor people, but prefer a diverse social mix in the neighbourhoods. Therefore, our answer to the gentrification debate is: We finally want to start with an active housing policy for Berlin!

The current, red-red senate spent the last decade in perseverant motionlessness. By praising the skyrocketing rents as a positive sign, they mocked the ones who were not able to afford these raises. We will change that: We want to adress the long-abandoned challenges of housing and solve them. We are convinced that we need a new legal frame to limit the raising of rents on new lease contracts and improve the protection against evictions. Where we need improved federal legislation, we will actively look for partners for initiatives in the federal chamber of German Parliament, the Bundesrat.

Apartments are made to be inhabited. In districts where living space is scarce, we want to prohibit the commercial use of apartments as holiday flats for tourists. We plan to do that with a ban on change of intended purpose.

For all of you – tenants as well as landlords – we want to push forward the energetic refurbishment of the residential areas in Berlin. Why? Well, we assume you want to heat your apartment, not the streets. Refurbishment is good for your wallet as well as for the global climate. We want to proceed with refurbishment following the model that was developed by IHK (Chamber of Industry and Commerce), BUND (Friends of the Earth) and the Berliner Mieterverein (Berlin Tenants Association). We want to motivate the owners of buildings to improve the energetic condition of their buildings in four five-year-steps. You are free to decide in what way and how fast you want to proceed.

Of course, this requires large investments. The costs of energetic refurbishing need to be fairly distributed. Therefore, we want to offer focussed support to low-income households.

One more thing: Not doing anything is no alternative for us. The increasing rents and costs for power and heating require us to act.

On 18th of September, you have the choice: do you want to keep on living „somehow“, or will you go Green?

Kind regards,
Your Greens