Mitte, Berlin: Citizen Inquiry Session

In recent weeks, the Home Sharing Club was launched in Berlin and local hosts have begun taking concrete actions. On Thursday night, seventeen hosts gathered together to address the issue of home sharing with their local District Council in Mitte. One host, Katrin, had prepared and submitted three questions about the lack of clear and fair rules for home sharers in the capital. Katrin joins the vast majority of Berlin residents in believing a distinction should be made between the occasional sharing of her own home, where she lives, and commercial vacation rentals.

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Several fellow home sharers also watched the proceedings from the back of the council’s hall. Some had even made banners and signs to support Katrin and her questions!

The District Council of Mitte allows 30 minutes for previously-registered citizen questions. When time runs out, the remaining questions are answered in writing within two weeks. Sadly, Katrin’s question was not addressed publicly during the 30-minute period.

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“It was a shame that we didn’t get to put our questions forward,” said Katrin, “but it was interesting nonetheless. Now we have a better idea of how these Citizen’s Inquiry Sessions work. I also had the chance to speak to representatives of some parties. Now we will get something in writing in the coming weeks, which may actually be better.”

Several Berlin hosts expressed how they enjoyed coming together to support each other. They look forward to finding even more ways for hosts and guests to make the voices heard in support of home sharing.

All 12 districts in Berlin host Citizen Inquiry Sessions each month, so there will be multiple opportunities to attend more of these citizen inquiry sessions before the summer break. It is great to see such an engaged and motivated host community in Berlin!
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