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Housing alliance: Scholz and Geywitz present measures against housing shortage

Chancellor Scholz and Minister Geywitz have ambitious goals: to build faster and, above all, more apartments. Property also comes into focus.

Despite the crisis in energy prices, the

The federal government will reach the target of 400,000 new homes per year with dozens of measures at all levels. “We are meeting the target,” Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) said in Berlin on Wednesday. This is expected to be successful with around 190 measures agreed between the construction industry, trade unions, federal states, municipalities and other associations in the “Housing Alliance”. The tenants ‘association, the owners’ association Haus & Grund and the opposition have criticized the government’s expansion goal as unrealistic.

Scholz said the planned steps should give new impetus to the creation of affordable housing. This is especially important in view of difficult times, Scholz said, in view of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and the resulting energy price crisis. Nothing has changed in terms of citizens’ need for affordable housing. Scholz stressed that anticipated energy price brakes would also help ensure that ancillary costs would not rise immeasurably.

Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) made it clear that even low-income people should be able to own property. This should be supported by the state. Essentially, construction costs are expected to be reduced in the coming years and planning and approval should be reduced in red tape. By building in series, there should be more speed in new construction nationwide.

The president of the tenants’ association, Lukas Siebenkotten, sees the work of the alliance overtaken by reality. “We are miles away from the federal government’s goal of building 400,000 apartments this year,” he told media group Funke newspapers. Haus – & – Grund boss Kai Warnecke told Bayern 2: “The Federal Building Minister can try as he wants. It is a goal that can no longer be achieved.” About 200,000 apartments are realistic this year. “And if you look at building permits and building applications, then it will be fewer and fewer over the next few years, probably even dropping below 100,000,” says Warnecke.

Serial and modular building: This should be promoted and help limit construction costs. In large numbers, buildings of constant quality need to be built, especially sustainable buildings with a high standard of energy efficiency and a positive ecological balance.

urban centers: A general objective is the further densification of urban centers. The densification and conversion of the attic are to be promoted. Distance regulations, fire protection, monument protection, nature conservation and noise protection must be checked. The uncultivated land needs to be revitalized. By 2030, only a maximum of 30 hectares of land will be used daily for settlement and transportation.

Pitches: An example of planned simplifications is that municipalities should be able to dispense with the previous, customary, subsequent increase in the prescribed number of car parks when houses are increased.

Building financing: An independent promotion of new buildings must be established and financed by the climate and transformation fund: the aim is to provide incentives for investments in affordable housing. The federal government must implement it by January 1, 2023. For social housing, federal funds must be increased to the “record amount” (Scholz) of € 14.5 billion from 2022 to 2026.

Non-profit dwellings: The federal government wants to get a new type of nonprofit housing on the way, combined with tax incentives and investment grants. This is intended to create a new dynamic for the construction and maintenance of affordable housing.

Standard: The levels of structural requirements must be verified. Minimum standards must take the place of high market standards. Overall, the entire standardization system needs to be simplified.

Accelerate planning and approvals: The alliance sees digitization as the key. But a possible staff improvement in municipal authorities should also serve this purpose.

homeless: Homelessness must be overcome by 2030. The construction alliance wants to help with a national action plan to overcome homelessness.

CDU construction expert Jan-Marco Luczak criticized the alliance’s results. “Despite the many hundreds of hours of joint meetings, the 67 pages of text mostly contain compromises of formulas, good resolutions and trial orders,” said Luczak.

The president of the Tenants’ Association Siebenkotten stressed that the problem of increasingly expensive housing has not been solved at all. Nationally, rents without heating have recently increased by an average of three percent in one year. The average price per square meter advertised in the first half of 2022 was 9.64 euros, according to a response from the federal government to a request from left-wing lawmaker Caren Lay, who received the dpa.

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