Tenants association: Housing crisis comes to a head | Free press

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Berlin (dpa) – According to the tenants association, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find affordable apartments in German cities. “More and more tenants find it difficult to pay the rent or not at all,” said association chairman Lukas Siebenkotten on Thursday. The housing crisis is reaching a peak.

The construction of at least 80,000 social rental homes per year is needed, the tenants association together with associations from the construction and housing sector and IG BAU explained. Calculations for the alliance show that a total of around 630,000 apartments are missing nationwide.

“The investment conditions for affordable housing are still bad,” criticized the Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies on the so-called Housing Construction Day. Higher land prices, higher print runs and construction prices would have driven up the costs for new apartments. If the climate goals were to be tightened, there would have to be a legal right to funding.

From the perspective of the alliance, the future federal government should primarily promote the construction of affordable housing – including discounted building land, tax breaks, promotion of energy-saving measures, more staff in the building authorities, and opportunities for larger and denser housing. construction.

Industry analyzes show that rental and purchase prices of apartments also continue to rise during the Corona crisis. According to data from the Immobilienscout24 portal, landlords demanded 7.18 euros per square meter when reletting an existing apartment in March, three percent more than a year earlier. For new-build apartments, this amounted to 9.58 euros, an increase of more than five percent, the company announced on Thursday. According to the Association of German Pfandbrief Banks, prices for apartments and houses have increased by an average of 7.5 percent in 2020.

The German Institute for Urban Studies considers it possible that changed needs as a result of the Corona crisis will make life even more expensive. “After Corona, the apartment will become more important as a living space”, says institute director Carsten Kühl. Larger apartments with retreat options and less open floor plans, as well as higher tech equipment, may be more desirable in the future.

Left-wing chairman Janine Wissler confirmed her party’s call for a nationwide “rental ceiling” to halt the rise in housing costs on Housing Day. “We also need new construction,” she added. FDP leader Christian Lindner and CDU general secretary Paul Ziemiak rejected a “rental ceiling”. Lindner spoke out for tax breaks, a vacant land registry and an independent building ministry. Green co-boss Robert Habeck supported the demand for higher buildings and more social housing.

The Central Association of the German Construction Industry drew a positive balance from the years under the Union government coalition and the SPD. She has not achieved the goal of 1.5 million new-build apartments, partly because of the long government formation and the pandemic, according to CEO Felix Pakleppa. “1.2 million is a very respectable result.” Secretary of State Volkmar Vogel said a further 300,000 apartments have been approved and would be ready by the end of the year.