EVICTED BY GREED investigates how speculative finance drives the global and local housing crisis, and gathers experts & activists from around the world to share and find counter-strategies.
The conference highlights how speculators and real estate investors use strategic loopholes to disrupt housing in Germany and worldwide. As an example of the matter, the “Paradise Papers” investigation by Süddeutsche Zeitung – the huge record that documents worldwide cases of tax avoidance and evasion – reported that the Phoenix Spree offshore company based in the British Channel Island of Jersey controls about 1700 apartments in Berlin extracting profits that are not taxed. The loophole works by having real estate investors not buying apartments or houses directly, but acquiring shares in a company that owns these apartments, paying as little tax as possible. According to estimates, the city of Berlin alone loses around 100 million euros per year through such tricks. As a consequence of such foreign investment processes, the real estate market in our cities is disrupted while the everyday lives of local neighbourhoods are negatively affected.
What critical interventions and solutions are possible in the context of tax avoidance of offshore companies in the real estate market? Are such investments an unstoppable wave or is it possible to reach better policy measures and greater transparency? Inviting investigative journalists, policy makers, researchers, and activists, EVICTED BY GREED imagines possible solutions, countermeasures, and actions.