There are 16 state ministers sitting together, all responsible for housing and building. They come from different parties and naturally have very different perspectives on the issue of housing shortages. But 15 of them agree on one thing: that the Bundestag must adapt the building code as quickly as possible in order to strengthen one of the most important instruments used by local authorities to protect tenants. It is about the right of first refusal in areas with a conservation statute, which, according to a ruling by the Federal Administrative Court, may only apply in a few cases. One minister, however, prevents a corresponding decision by the round – it is the minister in whose state the most strained of all German housing markets is: Munich.
The behavior of the Bavarian building minister Kerstin Schreyer (CSU) in the regional group testifies to a lack of sensitivity towards tenants in Munich and other Bavarian cities, who fear for their roof over their heads in the face of galloping rental prices – or who cannot find one at all. And it’s politically unwise.
Schreyer’s reason for the veto is that one must first examine the reasons for the judgment. That is something like that in the traffic light coalition agreement. But the aim of the country round was to send a strong signal that the new federal government would find difficult to oppose. The fact that Schreyer prevented that makes her party even more vulnerable when it comes to housing policy in big cities.
The CSU has always been on the defensive in the city council on this point, for example when the green-red coalition reproached it that the Free State was partially preventing the implementation of the building land mobilization law, which the CSU had co-decided in the Bundestag. Five months after the law came into force, Schreyer has still not issued an ordinance declaring Munich a municipality with a tight housing market – a prerequisite for new regulations on tenant protection to come into force. The ministry said that the enactment of the ordinance had to be checked across Bavaria, it was still going on. There does not seem to be any particular hurry there.
Bavaria will elect a new state parliament in just under two years. The CSU will find it difficult to find support among voters who are worried about the housing shortage.