Berliners vote to socialize 200,000 rental properties in non-binding referendum

In Berlin, a city where roughly 85 percent of the 3.6-million-some residents reside in rented housing, voters have approved a non-binding referendum that, if ever enacted, would move an estimated 226,000 rental properties from corporate ownership and into the hands of the city. Currently, a majority of apartments in the affordable housing-strapped German capital are owned by two major real estate rivals, Vonovia SE and Deutsche Wohnen SE.

As reported by Reuters, the votes were cast at the same time that Vonovia, the largest residential rental company in Germany, successfully secured an estimated 50.49 percent of Deutsche Wohnen shares, a threshold that would enable Vonovia to buy its main

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