The China Association of Social Security (CAOSS) and the FES Beijing office jointly hosted a webinar on Social Security and Social Housing.
Affordable and social housing is one of the most important social issues in Germany as well as in China. As rents and property prices in the German capital have risen dramatically in recent years, a referendum was held in Berlin in September 2021, in which a majority of the citizens of Berlin voted in favour of socializing large housing companies according to certain criteria. In the hope that rents would fall as a result.
The Berlin government - the Senate of Berlin - then convened a 13-member expert commission on the referendum "Socialization of large housing companies" on 29 March 2022. According to the senate's decision, the commission has been given the task of examining the constitutionality of a possible socialization of large housing companies in Berlin, as envisaged in the referendum.
In other words, to consider whether a socialization would be compatible and proportionate with German Basic Law.
In June 2023, the commission headed by former Justice Minister Herta Däubler-Gmelin presented its final report with respective recommendations.
Prof. Reinhard Gaier, former judge at the federal constitutional court of Germany presented this unprecedented process in a lecture in Beijing.
Prof. Zheng Gongcheng, chairperson of the China Association of Social Security and Prof. Yang Jun, Renmin University, contextualized social housing in China against the social security system of China and the overarching goal of a higher urbanization rate.
While Germany and especially Berlin has a comparatively low level of real estate ownership, the level in Chinese cities is quite high. But experts of the seminar concluded, that regardless of national differences in both countries, policies are needed to reduce speculation in the housing market to provide sufficient affordable housing.