Housing: Ambitious goal - how 400,000 apartments should be built

Irrespective of the energy price crisis, the federal government wants to achieve the goal of 400,000 new homes per year with dozens of measures at all levels.

Housing: Ambitious goal - how 400,000 apartments should be built

Irrespective of the energy price crisis, the federal government wants to achieve the goal of 400,000 new homes per year with dozens of measures at all levels. "We are sticking to the goal," said Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on Wednesday in Berlin. This should succeed with around 190 measures agreed upon by the construction industry, trade unions, federal states, municipalities and other associations in the "Alliance for Affordable Housing". The tenants' association, the house owners' association

Scholz said the planned steps should give new impetus to the creation of affordable housing. This is particularly important in view of the difficult times, said Scholz, with a view to 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 emphasized that the planned energy price brakes would also help to ensure that the ancillary costs would not increase immeasurably.

Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) made it clear that low-income people should also be able to own property. This should be supported by the state. In essence, the construction costs should be reduced in the coming years and planning and approval should be reduced in bureaucracy. By building in series, there should be more speed in new construction nationwide.

Destination "miles" away?

The president of the tenants' association, Lukas Siebenkotten, sees the work of the alliance as overtaken by reality. "We are miles away from the federal government's goal of building 400,000 apartments this year," he told the newspapers of the Funke media group. A house-

The plans at a glance:

Serial and modular construction: This should be encouraged and help limit construction costs. In large numbers, particularly sustainable buildings with a high energy efficiency standard and a positive ecological balance are to be erected with consistent quality.

Inner cities: One overall goal is the further densification of inner cities. Densification and attic conversion are to be promoted. Distance regulations, fire protection, monument protection, nature conservation and noise protection are to be checked. Fallow land is to be revitalized. By 2030, only a maximum of 30 hectares of land will be used daily for settlement and transport.

Parking spaces: An example of planned simplifications is that the municipalities should be able to do without the previously customary, subsequent increase in the prescribed number of parking spaces for cars when houses are increased.

Building subsidies: An independent new building subsidy is to be established and financed from the climate and transformation fund - the aim is to provide incentives for investments in affordable housing. The federal government is to implement this by January 1, 2023. For social housing, federal funds are to be increased to the “record amount” (Scholz) of 14.5 billion euros for 2022 to 2026.

Non-profit housing: The federal government wants to launch a new non-profit housing scheme - combined with tax incentives and investment allowances. This is intended to create a new dynamic for the construction and maintenance of affordable housing.

Standards: Structural requirement levels should be checked. Minimum standards are to take the place of high market standards. Overall, the entire standardization system is to be simplified.

Accelerating planning and approvals: The alliance sees digitization as the key. But also an improved possible staffing in the authorities of the municipalities should serve this purpose.

Homelessness: Homelessness is to be overcome by 2030. The building alliance wants to help with a national action plan to overcome homelessness.

The CDU construction expert Jan-Marco Luczak criticized the results of the alliance. "Despite the many hundred hours of joint meetings, the 67 pages of text mainly contain formula compromises, good resolutions and test orders," said Luczak.

Tenant Association President Siebenkotten emphasized that the problem of increasingly expensive housing was by no means solved. Nationwide, rents without heating have recently risen by an average of three percent within a 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 MP Caren Lay, which the dpa has received.

Start of the Alliance for Affordable Housing