A cure for housing hopelessness

Berlin housing woes? Experimentdays returns to champion innovative, low-cost living ideas. From May 26-Jun 3 they’ll offer a week of talks, tours and workshops around the city highlighting alternative housing solutions.

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Berlin’s shrinking supply of affordable housing has turned our streets into a battleground between the rich and the rest of us. Experimentdays is the yearly gathering of the troops, those intrepid housing activists fighting to put innovative, low-cost roofs over all of our heads.

Starting May 26, they’ll offer a week of talks, tours and workshops to highlight housing victories and enlist newcomers to join collective living projects.

The main rallying event is the WohnProjekteTag (May 28) at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, where you can cheer housing heroes like the members of Que[e]rbau, Vienna’s cooperative apartment project for the LGBTQ community; or visit the WohnProjekteBörse, a room full of Berlin’s own DIY housing co-ops looking for new recruits.

The flood of refugees and asylum seekers into Berlin has opened a new front in the city’s housing war, and Experimentdays will tout smart, homegrown solutions. How about converting an abandoned East German office block into refugee housing? Activists saved the Haus der Statistik near Alexanderplatz from demolition and are turning it into humane living spaces for displaced people as well as co-operative studios. You can tour the building on June 3 – meet at the Weltzeituhr at 6pm.

Experimentdays festival, May 26-Jun 3, full programme at www.experimentdays.de