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Die Legende vom Sozialen Wohnungsbau

#2 / The housing issue is back in the social discourse.


The Myth of Social Housing

For some time now, the housing question has once again been a subject of public debate: the issue of housing provision for those who have nothing to gain from a booming real estate market. This also includes people seeking refuge. The response to demands for more social housing, however, is limited: there has not been enough new construction to compensate for the number of social housing units lost due to the expiry of occupancy commitments for publicly assisted housing. But is the social housing system even capable of guaranteeing low rents in the long term?

This publication clears up misunderstandings and explains why social housing of the sort built in the German Federal Republic and West Berlin is a myth. Instead of meeting the long-term needs of low-income households it has so far primarily been about promoting economic development and private property ownership. This is reason enough to examine the principle of social housing and ask why it is so difficult to reform.

The second, revised edition of Die Legende vom Sozialen Wohnungsbau provides updated figures and content in Andrej Holm’s text, as well as a new introduction by the editors, Ulrike Hamann and Sandy Kaltenborn, which reflects on Berlin’s housing policy changes of the last ten years.


Andrej Holm

Andrej Holm is a social scientist specialising in urban renewal, gentrification and housing policy.

Since February 2017, Holm has been advising the Senate Administration as a member of the “Begleitkreis zum Stadtentwicklungsplan Wohnen 2030”.

Ulrike Hamann

Ulrike Hamann is a social and cultural scientist and works at the Department of Social Sciences at Humboldt University Berlin in the Diversity and Social Conflict department. She works on the city, housing, racism and migration and is a founding member of Kotti & Co.

Sandy Kaltenborn

Sandy Kaltenborn is a communication designer and has been running the office image-shift.net since 1999. He is a founding member of Kotti & Co.

Eds.: Ulrike Hamann, Sandy Kaltenborn
Text: Ulrike Hamann, Andrej Holm, Sandy Kaltenborn, Ines Schaber, Florian Wüst
Photos: Jürgen Henschel and Steffen Osterkamp
Proofreading: Natalie Schütze
Design: Athena Javanmardi, Sandy Kaltenborn / image-shift.net
128 pages, 64 illustrations
June 2021 (updated edition)
ISBN 978-3-947295-02-9 epub (10 MB)
ISBN 978-3-947295-09-8 pdf (6 MB)
3,99 Euro

Published as a book by: berlinerhefte.de
ISBN 978-3-946674-01-6
7,00 Euro

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