Editorial by the Chief Executive Officer

Dear readers,

Doing business means assuming responsibility. For the product, the service, the employees, and the impact that the business has on the environ­ment and society. In this magazine we show that we are building on our own responsibility – in every respect. None of the topics we talk about here is new to us. We have been active in climate protection for instance, for years. The same ap­plies to our duty of care for the ageing society, for our employees, and, of course, for our custom­ers. Here our second tenant survey gave us the gratifying news that the very great majority of our tenants enjoy living with us and are happy to have us as their landlord.

But assuming responsibility is not enough on its own. Talking is just as important. That was particularly true in 2019. Also due to the debate about the tight situation on the housing market, which involved large sections of the public and was often highly emotional. Under these circum­stances we decided to engage in a dialogue. Much of the positive feedback we have received confirmed that this was the right decision. So we will continue to seek and promote a process of discussion with all stakeholders. It is only by means of a dialogue that we can determine what we wish to achieve as a social consensus in terms of our responsibility for the people in our country: fair housing, which offers tenants dependable quality in their neighbourhood, in their apartment, in terms of climate protection and service – and that is considerate of people who need assist­ance on the tight rental market. With our tenant promise we have provided a concrete solution to these concerns. But fair housing for us also means that we can carry on our business freely within the framework of a social market economy. And fair housing is only possible when policy­makers have completed the urgent tasks facing them. Low­-cost building land is one example, and excessive bureaucracy that takes ages to process applications another.

One thing is certain for us in future: we intend to hold our chosen course and assume responsi­bility for tenants, employees, the environment and society.

Yours,
Michael Zahn
Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Wohnen SE