Inclusion, Diversity and Social Cohesion
Through promotions and support measures in the social sphere, Vonovia creates value for those who call our neighborhoods home. These include people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds. Vonovia welcomed new tenants from over 150 nations in 2021, as well as from a wide variety of age groups and social structures.
Demand-oriented and functional cooperation with social institutions, cities, municipalities, and residential real estate companies underpins the holistic neighborhood concept and serves as a strategic building block for community development. The promotional activities provided by Vonovia, which address specific local needs, focus on social and ecological measures that strengthen coexistence in the neighborhood, contribute to greater diversity and promote a vibrant living environment (see project box “Community Development for and with Tenants”). This is how we summarize it in our Group Donations & Sponsorship Policy. This defines the framework for action within which those responsible can select and implement suitable collaborations based on needs. The freedom to make decisions on site is important in order to be able to react to the respective challenges in a targeted manner. A wide range of measures and community development programs are emerging as a result, matching the diversity of society itself. These include:
- Establishing neighborhood meetings and daycare centers
- Cooperating with social institutions and sponsors as well as municipal neighborhood managers
- Providing premises and services in kind for social and cultural institutions
- Promoting cultural diversity by supporting small art projects
- Helping those in need, e.g., by supporting food banks
- Personal commitment of employees, e.g., for clean-up and planting campaigns
At http://vonovia.de/vor-ort we showcase a variety of projects that demonstrate our engagement.
2021 Projects and Partnerships (Examples):
- Cultural district festival in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg: Support for the home-grown intercultural district festival 48h Wilhelmsburg. Embedded into the existing partnership with our neighborhood meet-up.
- Neighborhood meet-up in Ulm: Funding and free venue for the neighborhood meet-up of the Phoenix Wiblingen e. V. association
- Adventure playground in Bielefeld-Baumheide: Funding and volunteers (construction supervisors/carpenters) provided for a new sheep pen in the adventure playground in the neighborhood
- Storefront cinema in Dresden: An empty unit on the Dresden Hauptstrasse was made available free of charge to the Kino über Land e. V. association to screen short films from around the world.
- Support for vaccination drives in Bremen: Financial support for mobile vaccination teams provided by the German Red Cross and St John Ambulance in Bremen
- Center for women and girls in Hanover-Garbsen: Support for individual advice schemes and groups for women and young girls run by ecumenical social project NEULAND
- Residential environment design in Leipzig: Assisted a housing community with the creation of a shared garden by providing construction materials and soil, in addition to creating an insect habitat and flower meadow
- Soccer field upgrade in Hamburg: Construction of an amateur soccer field along with new seating, a wildflower meadow and insect habitat in order to provide people in the neighborhood with more opportunities to meet each other and exercise
Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia were hit by catastrophic flooding in summer 2021 – the flooding was particularly devastating in the Ahr Valley and ruined the lives of countless people. Vonovia was quick to react. Our colleagues on the ground started (sometimes voluntarily) taking reports about damage and providing accommodation in the first days of the catastrophe. The employees of Vonovia Technical Service (VTS) and the residential environment services team were heavily involved in the cleanup process. Vonovia received almost 300 requests for alternative accommodation in the Rhineland region as a result of the flooding. In order to provide rapid assistance, we simplified the rental process, waived deposits, credit checks and the first rental payment, and gave tenants the right to terminate their lease with immediate effect. We used our social media channels to quickly spread the word about the help that we were offering. We also helped people get back on their feet by donating equipment, particularly boilers, which were urgently needed. The company invested a total of around € 400,000 in cleaning up residential units and providing alternative accommodation.
In the reporting year, we expanded our support services to include another special cooperation. In the coming years, we will be sponsoring Silbernetz e. V., who offer a nationwide telephone hotline to combat loneliness in old age. We inform our tenants about the offer, thereby creating contacts, providing the association with rooms for training courses and supporting the association’s infrastructure with an annual donation.
The funding instruments are supplemented by our foundation work, primarily within the framework of the Vonovia Stiftung (Vonovia foundation), the Vonovia Mieterstifung e. V. and “Stiftung Mensch und Wohnen”. With their help, we implement support measures for the benefit of our tenants and the rental environment. We continue to support tenants facing social hardship. In 2021, our foundations’ funding volume amounted to just over € 200,000.