It feels stupid not being able to go into all the rooms of your apartment any more.”  (via Outside Story).

I’m about as cynical as you can get when it comes to government, but I couldn’t make this stuff up.

BERLIN, Feb 2 – More than 100 German housing association tenants are obediently following tough new rules by agreeing not to use all the space in their apartments to avoid being forced to move out.

The local housing authority in the eastern town of Loebau said on Friday the new regulations stipulate the tenants — who all live on welfare — now only qualify for smaller homes.

Because there is a shortage of smaller dwellings, the tenants are being allowed to stay, so long as the space they use does not exceed the new limit.

“The recipients are only allowed apartments of a certain size, but there aren’t enough smaller apartments available,” said Matthias Urbansky, head of the local housing authority.

“The people involved seem to be quite happy with the new set up,” he said, noting that inspectors nevertheless make regular patrols to ensure the rooms standing empty are not being used.

Not everyone sees the sense of living in an apartment with off-limits areas.

“It feels stupid not being able to go into all the rooms of your apartment any more,” one 49-year-old woman was quoted as saying in the Dresdner Morgenpost newspaper.

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