|Headquarters||Freiburg im Breisgau, |
Mietshäuser Syndikat (English Translation: Apartment-House Syndicate) is an Investment company in Germany for the collective purchase of apartment-house properties, organized as cooperatives and a nonprofit, for the purpose of creating long-term affordable housing. In 2017, there were 127 apartment-house projects in Germany, with 17 in Freiburg im Breisgau where the Syndikat was founded in 1992, 22 in Berlin and Potsdam, and 11 in Leipzig. There are also apartment-house projects in France, The Netherlands, and Austria.
The Syndikat buys real estate to remove the apartment properties from the market, preventing it from being resold in the Market Economy. The Syndikat also supports projects by allocating resources between different projects with more and less financial resources. The Syndikate helps to overcome initial barriers to entry for new projects, like lacking the capital resources for the initial investment, despite having the ability to repay the debts reliably. The financial resources are aggregated through solidarity fees which are incorporated into the rent and gradually increase over time, starting with the incorporation of an individual apartment-house project.
Participation in this solidarity process for redistribution is a prerequisite for an apartment-house project to be accepted as a member of the Syndikat.
The Syndikat advises and supports projects with financing and legal issues, but do not provide financial capital. The Syndikat is like a network of democratically run projects throughout Germany, each serving as a network node. In 2015, the Syndikat's community-managed Solidarity Fund totaled 220,000 euros.
The apartment-house projects are not owned by the Syndikat but are instead private limited companies, where the Syndikat and the respective housing project are both owners. While the title to the real estate is held by the GmbH (the private limited company formed by the apartment-house project), the Syndikat and the apartment-house project have the same total number of votes in the GmbH. This means that to sell the property, both the apartment-house project and the Syndikat must agree, allowing the Syndikat to veto any act to privatize the property. The right to vote is established by the contract with the GmbH but is not connected to the number of shares held. Residents manage the property independently through the association.
Decisions affecting rent, financing, design, and allocation of housing are solely up to the discretion of the user association, composed of residents of any apartment-house property. The Syndikat GmbH is collectively owned by the individual GmbHs formed for each apartment-house project. The Syndikat GmbH is run by the General Assembly of members which meets four times each year.
The Syndikat has its origins in the cooperative movement and left-wing politics. It aligns its methods with the Squatter Movement, sociological and urbanistic findings developed since the 1960s, and approaches for the socially acceptable and ecological management of money and land independent of big banks and the state.
The Freiburg "Grether land," an apartment-house with 100 residents, information centers such as Strandcafe (Beach Cafe) and Radio Dreyeckland, located on the grounds of the former Grether & Cie. company, also houses the headquarters of the Syndikat.
- Patrick Kunkel (19 November 2007). "Wir sind geradezu da, einen Hausverkauf zu verhindern". Neue Zürcher Zeitung.
- John C. Carroll (2014). "Economic Democracy, Made in Germany: The Mietshauser Syndikat Model as a Framework for Developing Democratic Enterprises". Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce.
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