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Housing crisis: What the UK can learn from Germany's cooperative housing movement

Members of SoWo, a Leipzig housing co-operative, believe housing is a human right and shouldn't be private property

Friday 23 November 2018 17:54 GMT

Dirko Goebel is the last tenant left in a magnificent corner apartment block in Leipzig. A spiral staircase leads to abandoned rooms, revealing wooden floors, tall ceilings, and ceramic coal heaters stacked in corners, hinting at the building’s former glory.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in this part of former East Germany, the building has been used for raves and art projects as well as by squatters as successive landlords failed to keep it in good repair. Now buckets gather leaks, tape holds together cracked water pipes and ceilings are scarred by damp and mould.

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