CDU and FDP accuse the initiative “expropriate German housing and Co.” of voter fraud in the referendum. The CDU is therefore even demanding that the Senate dissolve the expert commission on expropriation. “Because what is based on a lie cannot lead to success,” said Dirk Stettner, spokesman for construction policy for the CDU parliamentary group.
A representative of the initiative defended himself in the Tagesspiegel on Monday against the accusation of having deceived voters [T ]. At a meeting of the expropriation commission, he had previously admitted that the existing rents in the expropriated apartments would not necessarily fall. Rouzbeh Taheri defended himself with the statement that rents are not falling across the board due to expropriation, “we have made and documented it several times”.
However, the website of “Deutsche Wohnen und Co. expropriate” still suggests that the rent for expropriated apartments could drop to up to 3.70 euros per square meter “on average”. In Berlin, the average rent in the Deutsche Wohnen portfolio is EUR 7.28 per square meter. The initiative therefore offers its average tenants a halving of the rent.
The official information sheet on the referendum, on which the Senate and the initiative were able to present their arguments, advertised with the sentence: “The institution lowers rents, ensures good maintenance, sensible ecological modernization and also new construction (…)”.
The activists had also recruited so many supporters in signature campaigns. During the election campaign, the initiative had also promised all other tenants that a sharp reduction in rents in the 240,000 expropriated apartments would lower the rent index overall – and further rent reductions could be possible for everyone. At the meeting of the expropriation commission, Taheri only spoke of a rent freeze.
Niklas Schenker, housing policy spokesman for Die Linke and a proponent of expropriation, described the attacks by the CDU and FDP as a “cheap attempt to distract from the fact that both parties have nothing to offer apart from flat new building slogans”. The aim of socialization is to solve the housing problem in Berlin.
“It is crucial that we keep the rents in the 240,000 apartments affordable and reduce excessive rents,” said Schenker. After the socialization, only rents that cover the management costs would have to be paid. In many apartments, however, it is already hardly higher, as Taheri admitted at the meeting of the expropriation commission.