Tenants association fears impending apartment shortage

Tenants association fears impending apartment shortage
Photo: DPA
The German national tenants association (DMB) has warned the government that unless investment in new construction is increased, the country could face an acute housing shortage in urban areas in the next two or three years.

DMB president Franz-Georg Rips told the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper that rent in certain cities was already rising disproportionately. The most extreme example is Munich, where rent is apparently now 70 percent above the national average, at between €9 and €10 a square metre.

Rips said this increase needed to be stopped, or else “social tension with all its negative consequences like ghettoisation and criminality would be pre-programmed.”

The DMB president called on the government to invest more money and energy into its housing policy, and suggested limited state benefits and tax breaks for the construction of new rental apartments.

“New social housing projects are now being discontinued in Germany, aside from a few exceptions in Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia,” Rips said. But the demand for cheap housing is rising, he claims.

According to DMB figures, 30 years ago there were around four million state-provided apartments in Germany and 1.8 million unemployed people. Today there are around 3.5 million unemployed, while the number of state apartments has sunk to 1.5 million. Every year, this figure shrinks by another 100,000, Rips said.

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