The Senate of Berlin has approved a five-year, citywide rent freeze in a bid to halt the city's skyrocketing rents, driven by increased demand that has attracted large-scale corporate landlords who have acquired swathes of properties and raised rents on them, pricing tenants out of their own neighborhoods. Next, the bill proceeds to the Berlin Parliament for approval; it is expected to pass, and will go in effect in January, and apply retroactively to June (heading off any last-minute rent-hikes ahead of the freeze).
The corporate landlords say that the rent freeze will discourage new building to take up demand; historically, Berlin managed this dynamic through the construction of public housing. The rent freeze exempts new buildings.
Berlin rents have doubled in a decade, rising 7% last quarter alone. Rents nationwide are climbing, and there is a movement for a national rent freeze.
The flyers appeared overnight on lampposts in my neighbourhood. A picture of a young couple who explained that they were flat-hunting and, as professional photographers, would offer a free photoshoot to any landlord who'd take them on.
It's not an unusual phenomenon. One woman recently offered to bake regularly for anyone who'd rent her their flat.
Berlin can't build affordable accommodation fast enough for the city's rising population. An open showing of a newly available flat is likely to attract well over 100 hopeful, would-be tenants. Demand is pushing up rents as corporate investors buy up and renovate old or dilapidated buildings, and it's pricing Berliners out of their old neighbourhoods.
Berlin backs five-year rent freeze amid housing pressure [BBC]
(Image: Ithmus, CC-BY)
News organizations in Germany are reporting at this hour that an estimated 8 people are dead and at least 5 more injured following a mass shooting in Hanau, Germany. At the time of this blog post, reports indicate the gunmen are still at large. Reports indicate that the shooting(s) took place neat at least one […]
The annual Germeval natural language processing event solicits German-language "shared tasks"; one of this year's proposed tasks from the University of Hamburg is Prediction of Intellectual Ability and Personality Traits from Text, which proposes to mine test subjects' essays as a predictor of IQ.
Hans Calmeyer was a left-wing German lawyer -- his law license was temporarily suspended when he was accused of being a Communist -- who was inducted into the German army under the Nazis, who put him in charge of an office that determined which Dutch people would be deported to Auschwitz during the Nazi occupation.
Companies that don’t have their own in-house design teams (which means 99 percent of all companies these days) face lots of serious questions. Among those questions is how you keep up with all the design requirements of a 21st-century company without the personnel. It isn’t just a website or an annual product catalog anymore. It’s […]
In case you’re one of those computer shoppers who instinctively turns up their nose at the very mention of the word refurbished, here are a couple myths worth dispelling. Refurbished equals junk somebody didn’t want. While desktops, laptops, notebooks, Chromebooks and tablets marked as refurbished may have been unboxed at some point, meaning they can […]
Electric bikes aren’t toys. And they aren’t a fad. In fact, more and more communities are starting to catch on that e-bikes are a lot more than an amusing gadget for the tech geek. Following a six-month study, Johnson County, Kansas, home to many Kansas City suburbs, became just the latest U.S. community to allow […]