The Göttinger Tageblatt published an interview with the head of Social Affairs – Ms. Broistedt – in June of this year. She claims that there is enough living space in Göttingen for Refugees and that therefore no further housing facilities have to be established. This claim diverges heavily from the situation Refugees in Göttingen experience and witness, revealing a massive lack of sufficient and humane housing opportunities. The city’s answer to the question of housing Refugees is called mass accommodation. In June 2019 the prison-like camp Siekhöhe was finally closed after years of protest against the catastrophic living conditions there. In Göttingen, however, there are other mass accommodations in which the conditions are hardly any better. There, up to six people share three tiny rooms in small apartment sections. They are arbitrarily assigned to them without leaving them the opportunity to choose their roommates and without respecting to their needs. These mass accommodations are far away from the city centre, strongly limiting the people’s mobility. Especially families are immobilized. The social workers, securities and the police enter the private rooms unannounced and without asking, using their own keys. By that, they violate the inviolability of the home and thus Article 13 of the Basic Law. During the night, the police regularly come to deport people. Who complains about the bad conditions is marked as a problem case – who resists is thrown out of the accommodation. People who are expelled from mass accommodation are assigned to the city’s homeless shelter called Maschmühlenweg in which the conditions are even worse than in Siekhöhe. A strict control regime is ruling: Those who do not sleep in the shelter for one night are thrown out and put on the street. By this another circle of repression begins: Those who do not have a registered address do not receive a Duldung and those who do not receive a Duldung do not receive any money from the social welfare office. People are thus driven step by step into illegality. Furthermore the private housing market is inaccessible for many Refugees – excessive rents and racist landlords*-ladies prevent the access. In addition, the city administration is blocking the way here as well: they often refuse to pay rents or deposits because they consider them too high.
In May 2019, some Refugees living in the local mass accommodation facilities published a protest letter describing and accusing their living conditions to the city administration. The city authorities refuse to reply to this letter. That is why we are now taking the protest to the streets! It is the city’s responsibility to take care of decent housing possibilities. In mass accommodation humane housing is impossible – those facilities simply represent the cheapest solution. We demand that all mass accommodation facilities be closed. We demand decentralized housing for all Refugees. We demand good housing for all. Stop the authorities‘ arbitrary and harassing behavior!
We meet on 25.07. at 15 o’clock at Gänseliesel. Many speeches will be held from groups, alliances and individuals. Furthermore, an open microphone will give everybody the opportunity to speak up.