Waechterhäuser - Guardian Houses

I. IDENTIFICATION
  • Investor (key institution): HausHalten e.V, Leipzig
  • Contact person: Ms Katrin Weber, info@haushalten.org
  • Year of implementation: 2004
  • Implementation venue

  • Country: Germany
  • Region: Saxony
  • Town: Leipzig
  • Impact: municipal

    Total costs: EUR

    Source per every institution

    • EU fonds: Information not found EUR
    • regional: Information not found EUR
    • other: Information not found EUR

    Important stakeholders concerned

    • EU fonds: Housing owners; Interested tenants
    • regional: Housing owners; Interested tenants
    • other: Housing owners; Interested tenants
    II. TYPOLOGY
    1. Improved provision of local cultural and social events.
    2. Improved support for the development of small business operators in the area of blocks of flats.
    III. DESCRIPTION
    1. What forms of cooperation were used as new approaches in the field of rehabilitation and conversion of urban functional areas?
    2. The project idea was born while architects and urban planners tried to preserve a particular building which was identified as a cultural heritage. With the support of Leipzig’s Urban Renewal and Housing Promotion Authority the association HausHalten e.V. was founded by volunteers in 2004 to transfer the project idea to other buildings worth to preserve. The start-up financing was funded by URBAN II (funding cooperation between the EU and the City of Leipzig) and the City of Leipzig financed two job positions for HausHalten e.V. within a German job creation programme for unemployed people. Today the City of Leipzig engages HausHalten e.V. to find tenants for buildings worth to preserve.

    3. Was the building or the space between buildings) identified as a valuable socialist heritage?
    4. Not necessarily; most of the buildings were built at the beginning of the 19th century. It is not important for the project if a house was built during the socialist era or earlier but HausHalten e.V. searches for buildings which can be regarded as cultural monuments. The preservation of cultural heritage is an important aim of the project.

    5. What criteria were applied to make this judgment?
    6. Most of the buildings were under monumental order. These buildings were mostly corner buildings along the main roads of Leipzig which are not attractive enough for local people to rent them (the buildings do not offer much space and due to the position they do not offer an open space e.g. a garden etc.). These houses were mostly built at the beginning of the 19th century along the main roads to impress people from outside who visited Leipzig. Due to the prominent position these buildings characterise the cityscape of Leipzig.

    7. Was the building or space between buildings) important to local communities and how were they involved in decision-making process about its rehabilitation or conversion?
    8. The project preserves cultural monuments. Furthermore it helps to revitalise life within city quarters, because HausHalten e.V. searches for small business operators to become a tenant. HausHalten e.V searches for buildings worth to preserve, talks to the building owners and brings owners and tenants together. Tenants and building owners participate in the project voluntarily – they have to sign a licence agreement and become a member of HausHalten e.V.. The tenants are responsible for the refurbishment of the building and the operation costs while the building owners become free from the daily maintenance of the building. In most cases the tenants do not have to pay for rent and the building owner is just responsible for the provision of heat, water and energy.

    9. Were attempts made to improve territorial cohesion within the city/town/district? And, if so, how was success on this front gauged?
    10. Yes. A lot of buildings were constructed at the beginning of the 19th century and the houses were connected with each other so that building complexes dominate the cityscape of Leipzig. Various strategies were implemented to preserve those building complexes but some corner buildings are still in a poor condition mostly due to the fact that the building owners cannot find tenants to rent the building.

    11. Were there attempts to reduced disparities between districts within cities/towns achieved reduced? And, if so, how was success on this front gauged?
    12. The City of Leipzig implemented various strategies to improve the attractiveness of the building complexes which were constructed by the beginning of the 19th century but some buildings of the housing block, especially the corner building, are still in a bad condition. The project aims to improve the condition of the corner buildings through usage, so that the cityscape will have a uniform appearance.

    13. Other important facts and comments, e.g. critical review.
    14. Project is a role model for other cities e.g. Chemnitz, Magdeburg, Goerlitz, Dresden, Cottbus. In the course of the Guardian Houses project another project was developed. The so called Aufbauhäuser can be regarded as an extension of the Guardian Houses. While the Guardian Houses has its focus more on small business operators as tenants, the Aufbauhäuser project is for private tenants who want to rent a cheap apartment. HausHalten e.V. offers an advisory service. The City of Leipzig commissioned the association to establish the project.

    IV. SUPPLEMENT

    Web site: www.haushalten.org