Mietshäuser Syndikat

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= "The Mietshäuser Syndikat (apartment-house syndicate) provides advice to self-organized house projects interested in the Syndikat’s model ; invests in projects so that they can be taken off the real estate market helps with its know-how in the area of project financing ; initiates new projects".

URL = http://www.syndikat.org/en/

Description

Silke Helfrich:

"there is an endless number of legal forms from housing cooperatives to community land trusts. But the crucial point here is to make sure that once something is in the commons, it shall remain in the commons and not fall back into the market. In Germany, there is a robust and growing institution called „Mietshäusersyndikat“ (sth. like the Federation of Housing Commons). It has more than 25 years of experience in co-facilitating the self-organization of hundreds of housing units all over the country. They co-created a solidarity and co-financing network among housing projects. But what makes them really special is the legal tweak, the smart legal arrangement they’ve developed to protect the buildings/houses themselves as a commons. It has been done in such a way that it is very difficult to resell a co-housing project back into the market. What the federation of housing commons is basically doing is: to elevate the freedoms of commoners at the expense of investors, speculators and often, governments. They protect the freedoms that money can’t buy.

To me: Mietshäusersyndikat is kind of the Copyleft for Housing projects.

Why is this important? Because doing this means widening the sphere of the commons with a long term perspective. And widening the sphere of the commons entails shrinking the sphere of the market and vice versa. So, remember: Each Commons needs protection!" (https://commonsblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/imagining-the-rurban-commons-in-2040/)

Discussion

Self-Organized Housing Projects

By Nikolas Kichler:

The founders of “Mietshäuser Syndikat” (tenements syndicate), a network of cohousing projects in Germany, observed many self-organized cohousing projects struggle and fail. Some couldn’t overcome the challenges in the critical early phases, in terms of dealing with legal issues, finances, and group dynamics, while others created commercially exploited housing projects against their original intentions. At the same time, many cohousing projects did not have the capacity to support each other.

The Mietshäuser Syndikat was launched to support self-organized, social housing projects. It connects successful, established projects with emerging ones to provide help, while at the same time reducing recommercialization by ensuring all inhabitants co-own all real estate assets of all cohousing projects.

A legal construct stipulates that each cohousing project is considered an autonomous enterprise that owns its real estate, with the legal status of a limited liability company (LLC or “GmbH” in German). This GmbH consists of two partners: the cohousing association itself and the Mietshäusersyndikat GmbH. The form of limited liability companies allows the property assets to be interconnected, since decisions cannot be made unilaterally. Finally, the single associate of the network’s GmbH is the MHS Association, which all inhabitants are part of.

For a cohousing initiative to join MHS, some requirements must be met: The cohousing project needs to be self-organized by its residents, and a house and a financing plan must be on hand. Once the cohousing project establishes a secure financial basis, it needs to support new projects that are in the critical, cost-intensive early phases, the same way it received help when it began. The MHS Association represents all inhabitants of all cohousing projects and has a veto right when it comes to reprivatization and commercial exploitation of individual projects. Regarding any other issue concerning the residents, loans, rents, and renovation, the co-residents themselves make decisions on behalf of their own cohousing association." (http://www.shareable.net/sites/default/files/SharingCities_FullBooktoPDF_v2%281%29.pdf)

A Model for Decentralized Steward-Ownership

Thomas Rippel:

The German non-profit entity Mietshäuser Syndikat implemented a decentralized steward-ownership model for real-estate, protecting real-estate from financial speculation. The syndicate does not own real-estate itself, but rather enables the development of housing projects. Each housing project affiliated with the Mietshäuser Syndikat is a separate legal entity, self-funded primarily through peer-to-peer loans.

The Syndikat holds a golden share in each affiliate, giving it a veto right on real-estate sales and changes in statutes of the entity. Thus, the syndicate solves the problem of misaligned financial interests of the shareholders/ owners of the real-estate by preventing any sale of real-estate for purely financial motives. The real-estate can only be sold in the case of insolvency in order to pay out investors.

In every other regard related to the actual use of the respective housing projects (who the tenants are, rental rate, plans for construction, financing, etc.), the people living in the properties have full autonomy.

The syndicate funds their administrative costs through a moderate fee charged to the affiliates based on square meters of real-estate." (h ttps://terrafina.org/assets/pdfs/v0.1.0.4_White-paper_A-global-blockchain-land-trust-framework.pdf)


Status

1. By Nikolas Kichler:

• "Since 1983, the network has grown to consist of 111 cohousing projects with a total of about 3,000 residents. • Twenty-one initiatives throughout the country are in the process of joining the network. • Spin-offs like “habiTat” in Linz, Austria, have been established in other countries."

(http://www.shareable.net/sites/default/files/SharingCities_FullBooktoPDF_v2%281%29.pdf)


2. Thomas Rippel:

"As of late 2017, 127 housing projects valued at several hundred million Euros have been established, housing more than 2,800 residents. Onlyone project has filed for bankruptcy." (https://terrafina.org/assets/pdfs/v0.1.0.4_White-paper_A-global-blockchain-land-trust-framework.pdf)

More information

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