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The number of social housing is declining. How can this be – and what does it help?

Social housing: shrinkage of housing

The number of social housing is declining. How can this be – and what does it help?

Social housing: shrinkage of housing

The thing is actually simple, you might think. Almost everyone agrees that cheap social housing is missing in Germany: The federal government sees this, opposition, social associations, many provincial governments and all those people who regularly demonstrate against rising rents. With such a large alliance, it will not take long to resolve problem, that would be logical conclusion.

Instead, opposite has happened for years: number of social housing in Germany is not rising, it is declining year after year. As was now known to federal government after a request by Greens, re were only 1.2 million social housings last year. 2002, it was still 2.5 million, so more than twice as many. How can that be?

The explanation hides behind a bulky word: occupancy binding. Whoever builds a social housing is promoted by State, which applies to communal housing companies as well as to private investors. In return, apartment is subject to certain guidelines, especially in question of who is allowed to inhabit it. After a few years, usually between 15 and 25, depending on state and funding, this bond runs out. The apartment can n be rented as a normal apartment. Almost every owner does this because he takes more. In recent years, more and more apartments have fallen out of bond, number of social housing declined.

In order to counteract this, new social housing had to be created at same time. But real estate market in Germany has been quite relaxed for a long time, social housing is not an issue that anyone wanted to make big. The federal government wanted to get rid of it at all: 2006 Bundestag and Federal Council agreed to federal reform and decided that social housing is henceforth only a matter for countries. Originally, promotion of Confederation should also be phased out. This has not happened, federal government wants to pay 2020 and 2021 to countries additional two billion euros for social housing. However, according to current regulations, this is not intended. This means that if Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, wants to dismantle its debts and sees no need for social housing, it can just as well repay debt with promotion of social housing.

In addition, a total of much too little was built in Germany, which also affected social housing. And investors have earned much more in free market than if y had made social housing from ir homes, especially in recent years with extremely rising rents in large cities.

This article comes from time No. 33/2018. Here you can read entire output.

What can be done to catch old mistakes and increase (or at least keep) number of social housing? Success only promises a mix of different measures.

The federal government first made promotion for countries and in early May in cabinet decided to change Basic law so that it can again promote purpose-bound. The Länder would have to put money into social housing. The Federal Council criticized this, and in autumn Bundestag wants to continue advising. If federal government could enforce earmarking, it would be a first sensible step.

Secondly, in order to stop or at least slow down loss of social housing, period of occupancy must be extended or binding should be permanently committed.

Thirdly, it is important to rebuild building. This helps entire metropolitan housing market, and number of social housing could rise. In order for this to really happen, more and more cities are writing quotas for new properties. In Hamburg, for example, triple mix: one third of new flats in larger construction projects on urban areas must be social housing. However, experts fear that this will increase gap in housing market: number of social housing increases, but costs could be passed on to ors, which would also mean more expensive housing. This would exacerbate anor problem: lack of housing for middle class.

The acute distress could alleviate anor measure. So far, whoever refers to a social housing must present only one apartment Berechtigungsschein or anor proof. If medical student who is in need is staying re, even if she is now working as a doctor, this is hardly noticeable. This could help with time limits, such as authorization certificates with expiration date.

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