Whilst GAG announced profit of 23 million euros - rents rose significantly this year.
(Source: Kölner Stadt Anzeiger May 2023)
GAG Immobilien AG has implemented rent increases in many cases and announced further ones. In doing so, GAG demands up to 15 % additional rent per square metre.
We would like to express our deep concern at the recent and upcoming further rent increases.
88 % of the shares of GAG belong to the city of Cologne.
(Source: Participation Report of the City of Cologne 2020, p. 164)
This means that the Lord Mayor, the members of the city council and the parliamentary groups are responsible.
What we believe must happen:
● First of all, we want a suspension of the rent increases for 24 months.
● We expect GAG to use this time to enter into dialogue with tenants and to seek and find solutions together.
● With its highest shareholding, city politics must use its influence on GAG Immobilien AG in the interest of a responsible housing policy.
● This also includes taking greater account of the condition of the flats when increasing rents.
● We propose to orient the rent to the lower limit of the rent index or to generally abolish the rent index as a control instrument of the housing market and to develop new models for its calculation.
We would like to see a responsible and social housing policy in Cologne.
And we call on those responsible in the city of Cologne to find an answer to this!
A family with three children lives in a 115 sqm flat in a new housing estate in Cologne Stammheim. At the beginning of 2022, this flat cost €1270 + €371 for operating and heating costs. In November 2022, the operating and heating costs rose to 466€. With the announced rent increase from 1270€ to 1461€, the total rent now rises to 1927€. This is an increase in housing costs of around 17.5% within 9 months. In addition, there are electricity costs of 100. Legally, a further increase of 15% is possible in three years: this means that in 2026 the monthly housing costs would amount to 2146€ (not including rising operating costs). Compared from 2022 to 2026, this is 6060€ more per year (without increase in operating costs). (The letter on the rent increase from GAG can be requested as proof).
So it is not only about discussing the rent per square metre, but also about how high the real costs for housing (housing costs) are in the district of Cologne-Stammheim and the whole city of Cologne.
This example shows that a rent increase within the legal framework, which is oriented towards the upper limit of the rent index, leads to a housing disaster.
● People who already live on the outskirts of Cologne are driven out of their neighborhood and have to move further and out of town.
● Because GAG is one of the largest housing associations in Cologne, its rent increases in turn have an effect on the rent index, so that it continues to rise and this spreads to the entire housing market.
● Instead of engaging in dialogue with tenants, the strategy is to implement rent increases as inconspicuous as possible and put tenants under pressure with their letters threatening legal action.
GAG, the city of Cologne and the citizens must enter into dialogue and bring about changes for the people. If this does not happen, housing in Cologne will become a luxury that only people with incomes well above the average can afford.
Thank you for your support,
No to rent increases - Initiative Köln-Stammheim from Cologne