GIf there were a list of federal ministers who had the most bad luck in the history of the Federal Republic when they were appointed, Klara Geywitz would be in the top group. The construction minister had only been in office a few weeks when Russia’s attack on Ukraine exacerbated the already tense situation on the housing market to such an extent that one can speak of an almost perfect storm ever since.
Because of the breathtakingly rapid increase in interest rates and the dramatic inflation, especially for building materials, new buildings for private individuals and housing companies can hardly be realized, and many renovation projects are no longer worthwhile. Projects are now being canceled in rows, and there is already talk of a virtual standstill. And that in a situation where 400,000 new apartments are needed every year – some experts even speak of 700,000 – to accommodate the population, which has grown by four to 84 million since 2011. In large and university towns in particular, people queue up to view apartments. For those who have to look for a new place to live, rents are rising rapidly.
Moderator Louis Klamroth has Erdal Balci from Bremen as a guest in “Hart aber fair”, who, like many other family fathers, has given up the dream of owning a home after years of fruitless searches and some humiliating experiences. Now he’s quite happy to be a tenant. A colleague, he reports, wants to sell the property he has just paid off; he could not afford the upcoming refurbishment and replacement of the heating system.
Almost only luxury and social housing
According to Dirk Salewski, partner in a property development company from Bergkamen and President of the Federal Association of Independent Real Estate and Housing Companies, Balci is a typical case. He reports that almost only luxury apartments and social housing are currently being built; The rich bring more equity with them, and there are state subsidies for social housing. Only the middle class no longer gets a chance.
The question arises as to how the misery could be remedied. Klamroth asked Geywitz, not without reminding her that Olaf Scholz campaigned with the slogan “Chancellor for affordable housing” during the federal election campaign. The minister, who presents her arguments calmly and in a clearly structured manner, does not get around the fact that the government is facing a major challenge. She boldly explains where she starts with the limited influence and budget of her ministry: There is “extremely much money” for social housing. With the housing benefit reform, billions more would be made available. In addition, your company is putting pressure on the cost-driving DIN standards to finally be downgraded so that construction can be done more cheaply.
Geywitz also wants to push ahead with the introduction of the so-called building type E (for e as in experimental or simple), which should ensure more flexibility in planning. Geywitz does not want to let go of her mantra-like hope for the price-dampening effect of modular and serial construction, although practical experience does not promise any great savings.