What’s behind the plan

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Of: Tobia Schneider


Will NRW cities be on the mend soon? Federal Minister of Construction Klara Geywitz (SPD) has a plan.

NRW – Cities in NRW and Germany are expected to become denser: this is the plan of Klara Geywitz (SPD), Federal Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Construction. This does not mean mainly the streets of the city, but much more the buildings of Dortmund, Bochum, Essen and other cities. RUHR24 knows why cities should become denser.

Federal state NRW
state capital Dusseldorf
theme Housing construction and rising rental costs

The cities of North Rhine-Westphalia and Germany will become even denser: more apartments for more people

Klara Geywitz has a plan: 400,000 new apartments will be built in Germany every year. Above all, there is a lack of affordable housing, says the SPD politician: “It’s about breaking through a thick board: in Germany we have a huge need for apartments, especially affordable housing.”

The Federal Minister thus faces a trend that has been going on for several years: rents are growing and growing and growing. According to the results of the immowelt rental compass, rents increased significantly throughout Germany in the first quarter of 2022. Cities in North Rhine-Westphalia are also turning the price screw.

Rents increased in 10 of the 14 cities surveyed. An example: Düsseldorf has a price per square meter of 11.34 euros and Cologne a price of 11.25 euros. However, the capital of the Bavarian state Munich remains in the lead. There you currently pay € 16.88 per square meter per month. By contrast, the average price in Dortmund is relatively low at € 6.75 per square meter.

Apartments in NRW and Germany are expected to become more affordable: 14.5 billion for housing construction

A meeting of representatives of social organizations, trade unions and the German Tenants’ Association in Bochum shows how worried people are about rising rents and the resulting housing shortage. High rents would become a real risk of poverty in many places, explained Elke Schmidt-Sawatzki, state president of Paritätisches NRW. Her suggestion: rent freeze for six years.

Construction minister Geywitz, on the other hand, wants to create more housing. There is enough money. Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) released € 14.5 billion for social housing alone.

“We also need the support of the construction industry, which needs to expand its capabilities significantly but is under pressure from rising construction costs and material shortages,” says Geywitz.

Construction Minister Klara Geywitz wants to densify German cities. © Karl-Josef Hildenbrand / dpa

Vacant lots in NRW cities must be closed and commercial buildings converted

And what is Geywitz’s plan now? How should apartments be built and therefore cities become denser? On Wednesday (April 27), the Minister of Construction will meet with representatives of federal states, municipal umbrella organizations, the construction industry and stakeholders from the German Nature Conservation Ring at the Home and Land Owners Association.

The plan: New apartments need to be created, but not necessarily through a wave of new buildings. Rather, vacant lots need to be filled, homes expanded, and commercial buildings converted into apartments.

The criticism of new apartment projects in NRW comes from the construction industry itself

Criticisms of the project? There is! The building and construction associations want to get involved, but they already warn that things won’t be that easy, not least because of the Russian war in Ukraine. Material bottlenecks, rising prices and the noticeable rise in energy prices are now as much a part of everyday life on German shipyards as the impending work stoppages.

“A prioritization has already begun, a kind of triage on construction, of projects,” says the Federation of the German Construction Industry.

Rents are rising more and more. © Sebastian Gollnow / dpa / symbol image

Cities are growing, the country is emptying more and more, living space becomes available where there is no one left

Time is running out. A spike in rising rental prices is not yet in sight. In addition, more and more people in Germany want to move to cities. As large cities continue to grow and the so-called “exurb belt” also becomes increasingly attractive, living space in the country is becoming available, according to the Bavarian Radio on the occasion of a themed week in November.

Rural areas suffer from emigration, aging, lack of jobs and lack of infrastructure – a vicious circle. Cities in the Ruhr area also suffer from unemployment and emigration. how will the future be? Uncertain.

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