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Geisel wants to quickly improve subsidies for social housing

Bautätigkeiten in Berlin

The new Senator for Urban Development, Andreas Geisel, wants to overhaul the subsidies for social housing in Berlin as quickly as possible.

Revision of housing subsidies in the near term

"We had funding for 3,500 social housing units in the budget last year," the Social Democrat told the German Press Agency (dpa). But there had only been requests for a little more than 1,000. "Those were just the state-owned housing associations that we forced to take advantage of the funding." That needed to change, he said. "We will have to revise housing subsidies in Berlin, and we will have to do so in the near term."

Price increase in recent years must be reflected

Current subsidies are based on the 2018 cost structure and do not reflect the price increase of the last three years at all, Geisel said. "That means it's not interesting for developers in any way, because they can't manage the relatively low construction costs that are a prerequisite to qualify for the subsidy. Or rather, they have to finance the deficit out of their own pockets or through debt." That's why they often decided against it.

Housing subsidies to become more attractive

"That means we will have to make our housing subsidies more attractive," Geisel said. "In Brandenburg and Hamburg, the current cost structures are reflected." Berlin will follow suit, he said. "And there will be incentives like equity replacement or partial repayment waivers that make it attractive for developers to take advantage of the subsidies." In this way, he said, affordable apartments at 6.70 euros per square meter could be created, which Berlin so urgently needs.

5000 social housing units to be built per year

"In the new coalition, we have planned for 5,000 social housing units to be built per year," Geisel said. The crucial thing, he said, is that this plan is actually implemented. It is the coalition's goal that the 5000 apartments per year will be financially backed in the new budget, which is to be passed in June. "We want to quickly revise the housing subsidies so that the money is available in July. And I'm going to make sure that the money is used."

Author: dpa/
Publication date: 31 January 2022
Last updated: 31 January 2022

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