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Government statement: Giffey promises affordable housing

Plenarsitzung Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus

Franziska Giffey, Governing Mayor, delivers a government statement.

In her first major speech in Berlin's House of Representatives on Thursday (Jan. 27, 2022), Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey promised more affordable housing. The SPD politician also named a social and a safe city for all as further important goals for the Senate.

20,000 new apartments per year

"The big social issue in our city - and we all know it - is the issue of housing," Giffey said in her government statement. For this reason, she said, the Senate has set out to counteract the lack of affordable housing. The goal is to build 20,000 new apartments per year, including 5,000 subsidized apartments for people with smaller incomes. Describing the path to achieving this goal, Giffey said: "We want to speed up approval procedures and planning processes, designate residential development areas and further develop social housing subsidies."

New alliance for housing construction and affordable housing

In addition to new construction, tenant protection in the existing housing is important. Both will be discussed in the planned alliance for new housing construction and affordable housing. The participants, including the Senate, districts, associations, municipal and private housing companies and cooperatives, will hold their first meeting on Friday (Jan. 28). An agreement should be in place by the summer.

Focus on social and internal security

In addition to affordable housing, another basic need for many people in the city is the issue of security, Giffey said. That's why one prioroity of the Senate is to ensure social security. "It's about making sure that this city remains social, that it remains affordable, that people don't have to worry about losing their homes. That they don't have to worry that they can no longer afford to live here in Berlin."

Another importamt issue for the Senate is internal security. "Only those who feel safe, who are protected from hostility, from hatred, from threats, from violence, can develop and feel free. That's why it's important that we strengthen and support those who ensure our security in the city every day." Giffey named police officers as well as employees in law enforcement agencies, courts and the penal system. This also applies to those who work for democracy in civil society and who are therefore attacked by some.

Numerous other points in the coalition agreement

In her speech, which lasted around 80 minutes, Giffey mentioned many other points that the SPD, the Green Party and the Left have set out to achieve in their coalition agreement. These include a functioning and digital administration, the expansion of local public transport, climate protection, a strong economy and fair wages, the fight against homelessness, better schools, and consistent action against enemies of democracy. Space was also taken up by the Coronavirus crisis. Among other things, Giffey referred to progress on vaccinations and promised a "fresh start" for the economic sectors plagued by the pandemic.

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 28 January 2022
Last updated: 28 January 2022

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