So sharply criticizes Bayern’s opposition Söders Bayernheim – Bayern

The chair on the government bench right next to the lectern is empty, Markus Söder is not taking part in the morning parliamentary debate on Thursday. This is not breaking news: it was already noticeable in the balance sheet at the end of the year that the prime minister was really not a permanent guest in the plenary hall in 2022 – quite different, by the way, from many heads of government in other federal states in their parliaments. The SPD even spoke of “contempt for parliament” last summer, “instead of answering questions about his messed-up politics, Söder prefers to tinker about folk festivals”.

Now, on Thursday, the SPD faction leader Florian von Brunn repeated. A so-called current hour is scheduled, and his SPD can choose the topic for the debate format today: affordable housing in Bavaria and the previously meager balance sheet of Bayernheim. “What a bankruptcy” is the housing association founded by Söder in 2018, says Brunn. “It is interesting that he is not even seen in the state parliament on this important issue, which concerns himself.”

Building Minister Christian Bernreiter (CSU) is present for the state government, and he will answer the SPD in an unusually sharp way at the end. The morning shows: State politics already got a heated campaign topic at the start of 2023, although the elections will not take place until October.

The lack of apartments, rising rents, especially in cities, and ever-expanding metropolitan areas are always relevant for many people. As a hit for an election campaign, however, this does not seem to be of much use: In the latest BR24 Bayern trend, the respondents were asked to name the most important problems that need to be solved as a matter of urgency. Housing and renting only came in ninth place. And when, in the 2018 election, the then SPD top candidate Natascha Kohnen prepared to put housing at the center of her campaign, that hardly bore any fruit and ultimately went colossally wrong. Now, however, the situation is different: Because the topic is directly linked to Markus Söder – through the goals he himself set for Bayernheim, against which you can now measure him if you want. And the Greens, SPD, FDP and AfD want that, no question.

Of the 10,000 planned apartments, only 234 exist so far

As a reminder: In 2018, the Free State founded Bayernheim with a noble goal: to build 10,000 new affordable apartments by 2025. According to the Ministry of Construction, the company currently has 234 apartments in its portfolio, but these were purchased; there are also 806 under construction and another 3,490 are being planned or developed. This was shown by an SZ research at the beginning of the year.

Bayernheim was “not fit for its tasks,” said SPD leader Brunn on Thursday, among other things. Jürgen Mistol (Greens) sees failure with the announcement that Bayernheim was “a very sluggish pseudo-giant from the start”. It should also be remembered that Söder had already “sold the silverware” when he was Finance Minister with the sale of more than 30,000 GBW apartments owned by the Landesbank. Sebastian Körber (FDP) now sees society as a “real satire”, saying that you “can’t stand with your legs apart and say that Bayernheim is a good thing”. Franz Bergmüller (AfD) speaks of the “pipe burst par excellence”. Regardless of Bayernheim, the opposition sees all sorts of deficits in the state government when it comes to housing construction – the SPD MP Kohnen, for example, calls for a regular vacancy report for state buildings.

And then Bernreiter speaks. “Everyone makes a fool of themselves as best they can,” he says of Florian von Brunn, in whose explanations he discovered significant “knowledge gaps”, “a very thin soup that you serve here”. In addition, it is courageous that the SPD, of all people, is tackling the issue, when their federal building minister “fails across the board”. Klara Geywitz recently dropped the traffic light’s goal of building 400,000 apartments a year because of higher interest rates, supply chain problems and a shortage of skilled workers. While the private housing industry is stepping on the brakes, according to Bernreiter, Bayernheim is “accelerating”.

With the other two companies in the Free State – the Stadibau for civil servants and the Nuremberg settlement – a total of almost 25,000 apartments will be in stock, under construction and planned by the end of 2023. And the housing promotion of the Free State, which municipalities can tap into, for example, has broken the one billion euro mark for the first time. In addition, there is a “housing booster” recently approved by the cabinet, for example with more additional funding and better interest rates for builders. The opposition, Bernreiter believes, should “not always play the same record”.

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