I’d like to see a number of American cities look to Berlin’s model, for how to maintain a thriving local community and economy, in the face of ever growing rents and property valuations often caused by gentrification.
“The law is intended to hinder galloping rent rises in a town that has seen inner city tenement districts become increasingly unaffordable, pushing long-term residents out and destroying the vibrancy that made these areas attractive to live in in the first place. This process started with inner districts like Kreuzberg, currently the site of a passionate, surprisingly high profile fight to save a local grocery store. But it doesn’t stop there. Such is the ripple effect that gentrification has even been noted in the pleasant but eternally unhip outlying district of Spandau.
To counteract this, Berlin has already introduced some other laws intended to stop real estate hotspots from overheating. The city has acted upon national Community Defense laws that allow it to pinpoint areas where rents are rising especially fast and forbid luxury conversions that would otherwise give landlords a legal right to raise rents. The city has also banned vacation rentals in some places to prevent much needed permanent accommodation from seeping away from the rental market. However, the rental brake is the most comprehensive tool introduced to date.”