Habitat International Coalition – Ruhr Tenants Forum – NRW People’s Initiative for Safe Homes and Jobs
March 21, 2007
At Friday, March 23, the German Bundestag in
“Instead of more liberty for speculative financial assets we need world-wide policies, which realize the human right to decent housing, work and life”, the organizations stated. “A YES to REITs in
Since the 90ies concentrated lobbying of the global financial industry succeeded in introducing the US-model of REITs (which combines high distributions of profits with tax exempt) to more than 20 countries with developed or developing real estate and capital markets. HIC received dramatic reports on the consequences of REITs in the housing sector.
Because of the obligation to high distribution of profits and stock exchange listing REITs are forced to gain high net yields from the housing stocks which do not allow long-term social management. Depending on the market environment, the legal framework and the specialization of the REITs, the residential REITs sector in the
housing complex for dense and expensive condominiums. In Canada HIC members concluded that rents in complexes taken over by REITS clearly increased more rapidly than average.
The high-grade speculative Spanish real estate capital invests into the liberal French REITs as tax haven, a model which in the meantime was also used by the
By publishing such examples and by the accelerated introduction of REITs in
Demanded and promoted by the World Bank and donor countries, privatisations of public goods and services in many poor countries and cities has led to devastating consequences for water supply. Private water services for economic reasons must insist on cost-covering service fees, which cannot be paid by poor populations. The easy access of international enterprises to liberalized land markets allows them the private appropriation of former publicly owned water and soil resources. Large-scale projects in private-public partnership pretty often lead to displacements of the native population. An example is the Parota dam
During recent years HIC had noticed an alarming aggravation of mass evictions, because self built settlements of the poor population (estimated 1 billion humans live in so-called “slums“) were demolished for development projects, urban entertainment zones, touristic
attractions or manufacturing plants. Uncontrolled large investments in the emerging markets of Eastern Asia and
in forced evictions against human rights obligations.
“By such policies we cannot overcome poverty and we cannot improve the living conditions of at least 1 billion humans, who live under degrading conditions“, HIC president Enrique Ortiz says. “The opposite happens: Everywhere the race of states competing for the most attractive conditions for the financial markets leads to the demolishing of popular neighbourhoods, large-scale projects against the interests of the local populations, unaffordable housing costs and massive evictions of ever larger extent.”
Housing is an internationally recognized human right. In order to uphold it, we need political regulations, which limit real estate speculation. We need land and housings policies, which are orientated on the social interests of humans. The sell-out of public property and services must be stopped. And we need rights, which protect people effectively from the consequences of speculation.
HIC in this context reminds the tenants associations and movements in
Due in part to the movements in
At the G8-summit in June the most powerful governments of the world plan to talk about freedom and security of international investment. HIC and the Ruhr Tenant Forum demand: “The tenants, the employees, the poor neighbourhoods of the world and the global environment do not need more liberty and privatisations for financial investors. They need social investment and public responsibility for the implementation of the right to housing, work and life”.
Friday, March 23 2007, 2:30 pm a small protest action against REITs and housing privatisation will be organized in front of the head office of Deutsche Annington in
Deutsche Annington is the German housing branch of the London based private equity fund Terra Firma. After buying up a lot of housing stocks from state and industries it became the largest German landlord (230.000 units). TerraFirma would like to sell Annington to the number