Germany continues to behave like cucks.
Already, the socialist government of Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, have been seizing commercial properties and converting them into migrant shelters since late 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the country’s borders to two million Muslim migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Now, the city is expropriating residential property units owned by private citizens.
Soren Kern writes for Gatestone Institute, May 14, 2017, that authorities in Hamburg have begun confiscating private dwellings to ease a housing shortage — one that has been acutely exacerbated by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than two million migrants into the country in recent years.
In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities recently confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center. The units, which are owned by a private landlord, are in need of repair and have been vacant since 2012. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.
The expropriation is authorized by the Hamburg Housing Protection Act (Hamburger Wohnraumschutzgesetz), a 1982 law that was updated by the city’s Socialist government in May 2013 to enable the city to seize any residential property unit that has been vacant for more than four months.
Of the 700,000 rental units in Hamburg, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 (less than 1%) are believed to be vacant, according an estimate by the Hamburg Senate. Socialists and Greens in Hamburg recently established a “hotline” where local residents can report vacant properties. Activists have also created a website — Leerstandsmelder (Vacancy Reporter) — to identify unoccupied real estate in Hamburg and other German cities.
Government seizure of vacant residential homes is justified on the basis of Hamburg’s paucity of housing. Indeed, A study conducted in 2012 — well before the migrant crisis reached epic proportions — forecast that by 2017, Hamburg would have a deficit of at least 50,000 rental properties. But the housing shortage problem itself is a creation of the city’s socialist government:
- In 2016, however, only 2,433 new residential units came onto the market, while only 2,290 new building permits were approved, according to statistics provided by the City of Hamburg.
- In 2012, Hamburg’s Socialist government presented a plan to build 6,000 new residential units per year. The plan never materialized, however, because prospective builders were constricted by government-imposed rental caps which would have made it impossible for them to even recover their construction costs.
So the city turned to seizing private property to resolve its self-inflicted housing crisis, beginning with a new law passed by the Hamburg Parliament on October 1, 2015, which allows the city to seize vacant commercial real estate (office buildings, retail space and land) and use it to house migrants.
City officials said the measure was necessary because, at the time, more than 400 new migrants were arriving in Hamburg each day and all the existing refugee shelters were full. They said that because the owners of vacant real estate refused to make their property available to the city on a voluntary basis, the city should be given the right to take it by force.
The measure was applauded by those on the left of the political spectrum. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that the refugees are not homeless during the coming winter,” said Senator Till Steffen of the Green Party. “For this reason, we need to use vacant commercial properties.”
Others have argued that efforts by the state to seize private property are autocratic and reek of Communism, which of course it is:
- André Trepoll of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) said: “The proposed confiscation of private land and buildings is a massive attack on the property rights of the citizens of Hamburg. It amounts to an expropriation by the state.” He said the proposed measure is a “law of intimidation” that amounts to a “political dam-break with far-reaching implications. The ends do not justify any and all means.”
- Katja Suding, the leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) in Hamburg, said that the proposed law is an “unacceptable crossing of red lines… Such coercive measures will only fuel resentment against refugees.”
Similar expropriation measures have been proposed in Berlin, the German capital, but abandoned because they were deemed unconstitutional.
As an example, in November 2015, Berlin lawmakers considered emergency legislation — proposed by Berlin Mayor Michael Müller of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD) — which would have allowed local authorities to seize private residences to accommodate asylum seekers. The proposal also authorized police forcibly to enter private homes and apartments without a warrant to determine their suitability as housing for refugees and migrants.
Berlin’s socialist mayor Müller‘s proposed legislation would have amended Section 36 of Berlin’s Public Order and Safety Law (Allgemeine Gesetz zum Schutz der öffentlichen Sicherheit und Ordnung, ASOG), which currently allows police to enter private residences only in extreme instances, to “avert acute threats,” that is, to fight serious crime. Müller wanted to expand the scope for warrantless inspections to include “preventing homelessness.”
The proposal was kept secret from the public until the leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) in Berlin, Sebastian Czaja, warned the measure would violate the German constitution. He said:
“The plans of the Berlin Senate to requisition residential and commercial property without the consent of the owner to accommodate refugees is an open breach of the constitution. The attempt by the Senate to undermine the constitutional right to property and the inviolability of the home must be resolutely opposed.”
Since then, both Berlin’s mayor’s and the Senate appear to have abandoned their plans.
It remains unclear why no one has challenged the constitutionality of Hamburg’s expropriation law.