Geywitz sticks to the new goal of apartment building

Berlin – Despite the problems in the construction sector, Minister of Construction Klara Geywitz is sticking to her goal of creating 400,000 new homes every year.

Achieving this goal has become even more ambitious due to supply bottlenecks and skyrocketing prices for building materials and energy, the SPD politician in Berlin said Wednesday. At the same time, however, apartments were needed much more urgently. The construction sector, on the other hand, now considers the goal “illusory”, as became clear at the beginning of an alliance for affordable housing.

In the alliance, Geywitz brings together the real estate sector, municipal umbrella organizations and stakeholders from the disabled officer to nature conservation organizations around a table. They should all work together to ensure that cheaper and more climate-friendly apartments are built in Germany. This is already an important social task, Geywitz said. In view of the war in Ukraine and the many refugees, it is even more important. “This means that the framework conditions have become more difficult,” he admitted. “But obviously we must not deny the goal in view of the necessity.”

Huge need for action

However, the industry sees a huge need for political action. “The urgently needed housing construction and climate-friendly renovation are on the verge of a setback in Germany,” warned the president of the Central Housing Association, Axel Gedaschko. “Massive supply chain problems after the crown crisis have persisted, there is chaos in subsidies for affordable and climate-friendly housing construction, and the war against Ukraine is leading to further massive price hikes. of construction and bottlenecks in procurement. ” and energy costs for tenants and landlords.

The director general of the construction industry association, Tim-Oliver Müller, like Gedaschko, sees the federal government’s housing construction goal in jeopardy. In the meantime, it can also be assumed that there may be a decline in new residential construction and ultimately also in the construction sector as a whole. The Central Real Estate Committee (ZIA) has called for bold political initiatives: “We need a regulatory freeze and the suspension of long approval procedures,” he said.

Geywitz stressed that now everyone must be together. “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,” he told the German news agency.

Common goal

Alliance members should all focus on the goal of building common housing, but also develop public subsidy projects. What conditions for climate protection must new construction and redevelopments meet in order to receive government funding? And how do you make sure that all approved apartments are actually built in a timely manner? According to Geywitz, nearly 800,000 apartments have been approved but not yet built. Sometimes obstacles in planning made it difficult to condense into the stock, the minister said. For example, the question of whether we still have to provide as many parking spaces in the city as before. “I think no one.”

According to their ideas, new apartments should be created mainly in metropolitan areas, but less through new building areas. Instead, vacant lots need to be filled, homes expanded, and commercial buildings converted to apartments. Overall, German cities will become denser.

Union real estate expert Jan-Marco Luczak criticized the alliance’s lack of solution proposals. “However, formulating goals that are already widely accepted is not yet political,” he stressed. “The Minister of Construction risks getting entangled in ideology and theoretical debates on the first meters. This means that we waste precious time until something actually arrives on site ”. Left Party’s Caren Lay criticized the fact that expensive luxury and condominiums do not solve the problem of affordable housing. Instead, he suggested that only social housing should be built in urban centers with a tight housing market.

DGB board member Stefan Körzell also sees a focus on affordable, publicly funded housing. In particular, families with medium and low incomes need such apartments. The federal government must also protect tenants from moving and rising rents. He suggested a six-year rent freeze. Federal Commissioner for People with Disabilities, Jürgen Dusel, reported a particular shortage of barrier-free apartments. In this case, a clear commitment is needed from all actors, not just politicians. “Planning for accessibility from the start is a question of quality, professionalism and sustainability,” he stressed. “Only housing without barriers deserves the name of social housing”.

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