Berlin is growing. Also, the city is confronted with an affordable housing crisis. But the number of apartments is increasing. The German capital now has more than 2 million of them.
Berlin, December 14th, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Berlin is going through multiple crises. Of course, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the energy crisis, the inflation and the climate crisis affect Germany, Europe and the entire world. But Berlin is going through yet another crisis, one that began long before Corona hit. There is a lack of affordable housing.
The city is growing. At this stage, there are 3.82 million inhabitants. This means the pace at which apartments are built needs to increase too. After a meeting with the Alliance for the Construction of Apartments and Affordable Housing, Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey and Andreas Geisel, Berlin’s Senator for Housing and Urban Development, said the city now had more than 2 million apartments, which was an important milestone. This year, 16,500 new ones had been completed.
At a press conference on the observation deck of Berlin’s TV Tower, Mrs. Giffey stated 40 percent of these new apartments, 6,800 of them, had been constructed by state-owned real estate companies. In addition, the Berlin Senate’s Housing Commission had accelerated the planning for 18,800 apartments. Some two months before Berlin’s state elections are supposed to be repeated, the Governing Mayor and the Senator wanted to spread these positive news. But they conceded the war and other crises had slowed down the construction business in general.
“Against the backdrop of the the repercussions of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, which do show in the field of construction too, having 16,500 new apartments this year is a success”, Franziska Giffey said. “Berlin creates apartments in spite of the crisis.” She promised the Senate would live up to its promise to build 20,000 apartments per year, or a total of 100,000 until 2026. “We have a responsibility to create more affordable living space.”
Senator Andreas Geisel said there were many relief packages for Berliners and other measures that supported them. He mentioned the moratorium on notices to terminate leases and the rent cap that apply at state-owned real estate companies. The energy and natural gas price break would help people too. New laws for 2023 would give more people the right to apply for accommodation allowances. That way, the situation of tenants was improving.
Franziska Giffey was elected Governing Mayor last year. The coalition agreement signed by her center-left Social Democrats, the left-wing Greens and the far-left ‘Die Linke’ makes affordable housing a priority. The exact number of apartments in Berlin is now 2,014,155, which is an increase of 0.8 percent compared to 2021. The number of new apartments, 16,500, is 4 percent higher than it was last year. This year, most new apartments were completed in the eastern districts Treptow-Köpenick, Pankow and Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
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