Working Group "Property Policy"

According to current projections (2015), at least 350.000 additional housing units are required in Berlin within the next years. Especially the housing stock suitable for families, single parent families, students and the rising number of refugees lacks opportunities. The German government is developing a comprehensive package of measures including the discounted sale of properties, development incentives, streamlining of building planning law as well as the support for inexpensive housing which easily can be modified for different uses.

The objective of the Alliance for Affordable Housing is the facilitation of affordable housing where it is most urgently needed: in large cities, university towns and in rural districts located near prospering cities.

Based on the comprehensive recommendations of the alliance, the federal ministry for building (BMUB) has developed a housing construction campaign which will provide incentives for the development of additional affordable housing. The German Association for Housing, Urban and Spatial Development has coordinated the group of experts on the issue of buildings plots. Two of the developed recommendations are a top priority of the Ministers housing campaign:

  • Building land will be made available, while plots belonging to public authorities will be made available at a discount and allocated based on the merits of the planning.
  • Infill development including gap-stopping and development of unused sites will be prioritized.

Affordable building plots are a prerequisite for an appropriate provision of housing

The price of the building plot determines to a considerable extent the total cost of the construction, so the sharp rise in land prices is a major factor contributing to the rising costs of construction within Germany’s tight housing markets.

Besides the rising prices, there is a fundamental lack of available land in growing regions. Due to missing building land and building law, there are projects which cannot be implemented despite willingly investors and available capital. Sufficient available building land at reasonable prices is therefore a crucial lever to extend affordable housing construction. A strategic and activating property policy of municipalities with a downward effect on prices is of particular importance. To ensure better conditions for designating land for construction and mobilizing unused land for housing purposes, federal and state governments need to provide their support.

Municipalities have to develop more residential sites on their own responsibility. Municipal property policy must be linked to the housing policy to provide land and activate potentials for housing. Pure fiscal targets of the property policy must not unilaterally dominate the social, urban and housing policy objectives. A number of German cities already show how to do it: They create and implement integrated land management strategies by using the existing legal and cooperative planning instruments.

Documentation (in German)

In the Dokumentation „Mehr Bauland für bezahlbaren Wohnungsbau – Gute Beispiele kommunaler Boden- und Liegenschaftspolitik“ (More Building Land for affordable Housing - Good Practices of Municipal land policy) The German Association of Housing shows suitable courses of action for municipalities to create more building land.

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