With blankets, pillows, cuddly toys and bathrobes about 60 volunteers from CKD/AIC-Germany in the archdiocese of Paderborn settled on their beds in front of the Paderborn town hall in a protest action aiming to draw attention to the housing shortage in Germany. The association, which has around 17,000 volunteers in the archdiocese, calls for significantly more affordable housing for low-income population groups. Building regulations must be simplified to make construction more cost-effective. “We are seeing that normal families are experiencing financial difficulties more and more often due to rising rents,” explains Helga Gotthard, diocesan President of the CKD. Many people have almost no chance in the housing market. Good, affordable housing is rarely available for refugees, for example.
The action of the volunteers attracted great interest among the population, the authorities and the media, and many people threatened or affected by homelessness also engaged in the discussion. Last but not least, the volunteers experienced what it feels like to be exposed to public attention in sub-zero temperatures without a roof over their heads, without protection.
February 2018 – Photo: © Klaus-Peter Semler