The year 2019 was characterised by broad-based societal debate on the topic of homes in Germany. This debate centred on Berlin. This is unsurprising as the market for rental apartments is especially tight there – 85% of people in Berlin rent their accommodation. By 2030, there will be a shortage of more than 200,000 residential units. Deutsche Wohnen was involved in this discussion, which rapidly became more intense. In the autumn, it was time to make the discussion more objective.
We led the way here in the summer with the promises we made to our tenants. These include a pledge that none of our tenants would have to give up their apartments because of modernisation work – see page Our promise to our tenants for more information. As its next step, the company invited people to a Berlin Dialogue for a fair housing market. The framework for this was four dialogue forums held locally, with more than 240 spectators convening in Steglitz-Zehlendorf, Pankow, Lichtenberg and Charlottenburg to discuss this issue with 21 experts from the fields of business, politics and society. A public digital platform was additionally made available at faires-wohnen.berlin where Berliners could contribute their ideas, questions and criticisms regarding a fair residential property market. The discussions held were therefore varied and lively, and in some cases involved some very different positions. There was, however, consensus regarding the fact that things could not go on the way they were.
The question that dominated at the end of the year was therefore this: what specifically should now be done? Deutsche Wohnen made an important contribution here in drawing up the Pact for Fair Housing, which it presented to the public in December.