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REVEALED: How Germany’s new government wants to tackle the housing crisis

The new German government’s plan to tackle the country’s affordable housing crisis includes a promise to extend the rent brake and build 400,000 new apartments each year. Here’s what you need to know.

Berlin at night
Germany's new government announced a range of new measures to restrict rental rises. Photo: Picture Alliance/DPA

On Wednesday afternoon, the three parties set to form Germany’s new governing coalition set out a roadmap for the next four years. 

Under the motto, ‘Dare to make progress’, the new coalition – nicknamed the ‘traffic light’ after the parties’ colours – released an 177 page document that sets out their vision for the coming years.

READ MORE: LATEST: Germany’s next government sets out roadmap for post-Merkel era

The document included policies put forward from all parties, including a pledge to tackle the country’s affordable housing crisis which the coalition defined as “the social issue of our time”. 

Under the plan, Germany will build 400,000 new flats each year, 100,000 of which will be publicly-funded social housing for people in lower income groups. 

The government said the plan will also boost the country’s construction industry. 

The party also plans to tighten the so-called ‘rent brake’, a federal law aimed at limiting the amount a landlord can increase the rent on a property. 

READ MORE: Germany’s coalition government to allow dual nationality

While the current law restricts rent rises to 15 percent over a three year period, the government’s new plan will be to restrict rises on rent to 11 percent in tighter housing markets, such as those in many of the country’s larger cities. 

Although further details of the proposal have yet to emerge, the 11 percent cap is closer to that put in place in the capital of Berlin in 2020, which was later overturned by the federal court. 

The federal court ruled that while rent restrictions of that nature were legitimate and could be implemented, this needed to take place at a federal rather than a state level. 

In order to account for rising costs of living, the government want to insulate lower-income families from “extreme fluctuations in housing and ancillary costs”. 

As a result, the government will make a one-off subsidy available for heating costs for low-income families. 

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POLITICS

‘A good thing’ for footballers to express values, says France’s PM

France's Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne - speaking in Berlin - said that footballers should be allowed to express their values, amid controversy over FIFA's stance against the 'OneLove' armband on the pitch.

'A good thing' for footballers to express values, says France's PM

“There are rules for what happens on the field but I think it’s a good thing for players to be able to express themselves on the values that we obviously completely share, while respecting the rules of the tournament,” said Borne at a press conference in Berlin on Friday.

Germany’s players made headlines before Wednesday’s shock loss to Japan when the team lined up for their pre-match photo with their hands covering their mouths after FIFA’s threat to sanction players wearing the rainbow-themed armband.

Seven European nations, including Germany, had previously planned for their captains to wear the armband, but backed down over FIFA’s warning.

Following Germany’s action, Wales and the Netherlands have since come out to say they would not mirror the protest.

Borne’s visit to Germany was her first since she was named to her post in May.

Following talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the two leaders signed an agreement for “mutual support” on “guaranteeing their energy supplies”.

Concrete measures outlined in the deal include France sending Germany gas supplies as Berlin seeks to make up for gaping holes in deliveries from Russia.

Germany meanwhile would help France “secure its electricity supplies over winter”, according to the document.

France had since 1981 been a net exporter of electricity to its neighbours because of its nuclear plants. But maintenance issues dogging the plants have left France at risk of power cuts in case of an extremely cold winter.

The two leaders also affirmed their countries’ commitment to backing Ukraine “to the end of” its conflict with invaders Russia.

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