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Four rooms? Three people!: Landlords’ association wants to limit living space

Four rooms? Three persons!
Landlords’ association wants to limit living space

The Association of Berlin-Brandenburg Housing Companies (BBU) makes an unusual proposal in the fight against a lack of housing. Why not take Switzerland as a model and limit the living space per capita? Expensive fun for parents once the children move out.

In the fight against the housing shortage, the Association of Berlin-Brandenburg Housing Companies (BBU) proposes drastic measures. “We should think about legal options for limiting living space,” says the head of the BBU, Maren Kern, of “Zeit”. “We can’t complain about shortages while at the same time living space per capita is increasing in many places.”

The members of the association manage more than one million apartments. In her opinion, Switzerland could be a role model, where a limit is possible for many housing cooperatives. “In a four-room apartment, for example, at least three people have to live,” says Kern. “If a child moves out at some point, the parents are offered a smaller apartment or they have to pay an underoccupancy tax.” In her opinion, this possibility should also be examined for German tenancy law.

In order to combat the housing shortage, the traffic light coalition wants to build 400,000 apartments every year, 100,000 of them publicly funded social housing. According to a new study, there is even usable building land available for around two million apartments in the short term. Around 53,000 hectares of space in the interior of towns and communities can be built without any great effort, as calculated by the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Spatial Development and the German Economic Institute in March for the Federal Ministry of Building.

However, the federal government is struggling as a builder, and the “housing offensive” promised by the grand coalition is modest. Four years after the announcement, only 56 apartments have been completed. According to the Federal Agency for Real Estate Tasks (BImA), in 2021 there were only six apartments.

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