Construction summit in Berlin: What the government is planning to combat the housing crisis

As of: September 25, 2023 10:36 a.m

Initially no insulation standard EH 40, but tax advantages and a higher “climate bonus”: With a total of 14 measures, the traffic light coalition wants to ensure that more is built again. The industry is debating this with Chancellor Scholz today.

Before the housing construction summit, the federal government agreed with Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) on several steps to create more living space. Among other things, it is planned to suspend a previously planned tightening of energy standards for new buildings, as can be seen from a 14-point paper that the ARD capital studio is present. “The creation of affordable housing is one of the most pressing social issues of our time,” it says at the beginning of the letter.

Given the difficult environment for housing construction and the high interest rates and construction costs, “the anchoring of EH40 “As a binding legal standard for new buildings, it is no longer necessary in this legislative period and will be suspended,” it is also announced. The traffic light had the energy saving standard EH 40 in the Coalition agreement for 2025 agreed. The construction industry had sharply criticized this for months in view of the sharp increase in construction costs.

“Demanding renovation rates” – but not mandatory

EH 40 means: a requirement of 40 percent of the energy of a comparable new building. Recently, Federal Construction Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) also distanced herself from the project. During the phase of low interest rates, ever higher standards were developed by the federal, state and local governments, she said ARD morning magazine. “Now all three levels of government have to understand: We have to lower standards and reduce costs.”

During relevant negotiations at EU level, the government also wants to push for “demanding renovation quotas for the entire building stock”. However, there should be no mandatory renovation of individual residential buildings.

Loan maximums should be adjusted

In construction projects it should Tax benefits through special depreciation rules, the so-called depreciation.

The “Climate bonus”which encourages homeowners to exchange old, fossil fuel heating systems for new, climate-friendly heating systems, should be increased and also extended to housing companies and landlords.

The countries should have one more flexible design of property transfer tax be made possible. In the period from 2022 to 2027, “program titles totaling 18.15 billion euros for social housing construction” will be made available to them.

In cities and municipalities with tight housing markets, the Construction of affordable housing simplified and accelerated become. KfW funding programs should be made more attractive and expanded.

The traffic light government wants it to be stronger and for more families Promote the purchase of home ownership. The maximum loan amounts will therefore be increased by 30,000 euros and the maximum taxable income limit will be increased from 60,000 euros to 90,000 euros. The still young “Home Ownership for Families” program was hardly used, particularly because of the previous income limit.

Greens point to tenants’ rights

The so-called already planned should also be used Non-profit housing will be launched next year. Landlords who provide permanently affordable housing should receive tax advantages and support. SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert recently called for the Ministry of Construction’s plans to be implemented by 2023.

In addition to Geywitz and Scholz, over 30 associations and clubs from the sectors involved are expected at the summit taking place in the Federal Chancellery. The federal government launched the Affordable Housing Alliance in the spring of last year. The committee then developed proposals and measures for housing policy, including the goal of 400,000 new apartments annually, and now wants to take stock.

The Greens believe new construction is only part of the solution and, with a view to the summit, called for tenants’ rights to be strengthened. Party leader Ricarda Lang told the newspapers of the Funke media group: “It is now time to make progress in reforming rental law, tightening the rent cap and cap and limiting index rents.” The parliamentary managing director of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast, had called for something similar.

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