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The Berlin preliminary decision: Can housing companies be expropriated?

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Dr Christian Hilmes



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Olgemoeller Udo Herbert
Dr Udo Herbert Olgemöller


Frankfurt am Main

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05 October 2021

For some time now, Berlin has been experiencing a shortage of affordable and socially subsidized housing.

In April 2021, the so-called Berlin rent cap, which the red-red-green Berlin Senate introduced in 2020 with the aim of curbing the rise in rents in Berlin, was declared unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court.

On September 26, 2021, Berlin voters took the first step towards socialization of non-profit housing companies with portfolios of more than 3,000 apartments by passing a referendum to "Expropriate Deutsche Wohnen and Co." The proposal, which is unprecedented in Germany, was supported by 56.4% of the voters. Is there now a threat of socialization?

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