Push talks with Denmark’s Housing Minister
The Filmmaker and the Advocate bring you an exclusive conversation with Denmark’s Housing Minister – Kaare Dybvad Bek – one of the few politicians in the world to have had the courage to take on Blackstone and other institutional investors. The Minister recounts the new housing reality in Copenhagen where private equity, pension funds and asset management firms have started to dominate, imposing on tenants huge rent increases (often double) and unnecessary renovations driving tenants out of their homes and neighbourhoods. Believing that ordinary people – nurses, teachers, bus drivers – should be able to live in the cities where they work, and racing against time to keep remaining affordable units out of the clutches of investors, the Minister took matters into his own hands. A Parliamentary Committee to analyze the situation was initiated, and despite considerable pressure successfully put forward ground-breaking legislation aimed at keeping big finance out of Copenhagen’s housing market. Known as ‘Lex Blackstone’, the legislation puts a 5-year ban on renovations and rent increases for new owners, and strengthens tenants rights. The legislation has had its intended results: fewer institutional investors and a significant decrease in property prices. Denmark’s legislation offers inspiration and stands as a model for advocates and politicians across the globe.
The podcast also brings back memories from the World Premiere of PUSH at the amazing CPH DOX film festival in Copenhagen. The film won the Politikken Audience Award and the issues in the film created a strong debate in Danish media.