Klaus Wowereit (SPD), Berlin's long-time mayor
Photo: Kirsten Nijhof / picture alliance / zb
Rents in Berlin have been rising for years.
Now the city is trying to counteract this by buying apartments from corporations: Berlin has taken over almost 15,000 units from Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen.
Berlin's long-time governing mayor, Klaus Wowereit (SPD), considers the deal to be wrong, as he told the Tagesspiegel: “I believe that the billions should rather go into housing.
That's why I don't think this purchase is right. "
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On Friday, Berlin's Senator for Finance Matthias Kollatz, together with the boards of Vonovia and Deutsche Wohnen and the three state-owned housing companies Degewo, Howoge and Berlinovo, reported the purchase as completed.
The three housing companies are buying a total of around 14,750 apartments.
There are also around 450 commercial units.
Wowereit once sold many of the apartments himself
A large part of the apartments belonged to the municipal housing association GSW until the beginning of the noughties.
The Senate led by Wowereit had sold the GSW and its 65,000 apartments at the time for 405 million euros, with the buyers also assuming debts of 1.5 billion euros.
Wowereit justified the sale of the GSW apartments for a fraction of the billions now due in an interview with the Tagesspiegel as follows: “Those were different times.
There were 150,000 vacant apartments in Berlin, we had a share of public apartments of 25 percent. «Nowhere else can you find such a high proportion of urban apartments, said Wowereit.
“We wouldn't sell GSW today.
But it was not foreseeable at the time that there would be so many people moving to Berlin. «Wowereit ruled Berlin for more than 13 years and between 2001 and 2014 was the city's governing mayor.
The debacle surrounding the construction of the BER airport also fell during his term of office.