Should the government provide vacant housing

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How does the law help to make more building land available?

The law makes it clear: It is part of safeguarding the common good to meet the housing needs in communities. In order for municipalities to have easier access to additional space for housing construction, the municipal right of first refusal is being strengthened - especially in areas with tight housing markets. In this way, municipalities can make undeveloped, slightly developed or fallow land more easily usable for residential construction.

In such areas with tense housing markets, municipalities should also be able to more easily issue building bids, for example in order to close vacant lots with new residential units. A new building area category is also emerging: the "village residential area". This measure also makes it easier for the municipalities to mobilize building land by simplifying the amicable coexistence of living and - especially agricultural - part-time use.

How does the law ensure more social housing?

The introduction of so-called "sectoral development plans" enables municipalities to define areas for residential development. In addition, the municipalities can stipulate that planned apartments must meet the structural requirements for social housing subsidies. Building permits can also be made dependent on whether the subsidy conditions for social housing subsidies - in particular rent and occupancy restrictions - are complied with.

How should tenants be better protected against the conversion of rental apartments into condominiums?

In order to better protect tenants from the conversion of existing rental apartments into condominiums, a new reservation of approval will be introduced in the Building Code by December 31, 2025 at the latest. This allows municipalities to prohibit conversion in areas with a tight housing market. So far, this has only been possible in environmental protection areas. The Bundestag resolution provides for exceptions for houses with three to 15 apartments. The countries can decide where to place themselves in this range. This is intended to protect small owners.

What technical expertise has the Federal Government included?

The draft law is based on the extensive recommendations of the expert commission for "Sustainable building land mobilization and land policy", the so-called building land commission. Since September 2018, the commission has focused on strategic issues of an active real estate policy and instruments to be able to provide more building land.

What else is the federal government doing for the housing market?

The federal government, together with the federal states and municipalities, wants to create 1.5 million apartments and secure affordable rents during this legislative period. Housing has become a relevant social issue in the major metropolitan areas. All central resolutions of the Housing Summit in September 2018 have been implemented or are on the way: The federal government is funding social housing and urban development with several billion euros. You can also see an overview of the various measures on the subject of affordable building and living.