Berlin’s Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey (SPD) has spoken out in favor of introducing a load limit for tenants in the fight against housing shortages and rent increases. It’s about “that nobody in Berlin has to pay more than 30 percent of their net household income for rent,” Giffey told the “Tagesspiegel”. “That would be fair and a comprehensible solution for everyone.”
Giffey is relying on a compromise with the housing companies in the “Alliance for New Housing and Affordable Housing”, which intends to present final results in June. “Relief must be linked to the respective income situation,” said Giffey. “Different incomes have different resilience. That has to be complied with.”
With a view to the advances made by the coalition partners Greens and Left, the SPD politician warned of solutions to the housing crisis that were “too general” – for example, limiting the rent increase to one percent per year or prescribing a quota of 60 percent for social housing in new quarters.
“You set a number knowing full well that it won’t work.” Ability to govern is shown by coming up with ambitious but workable solutions. Subsidized housing must also be financed. The SPD politician also believes that the five-year rent moratorium proposed by the Greens cannot be financed. It follows the watering can principle, criticized Giffey.
Instead, Giffey called for a triad of housing policy measures – in addition to the 30 percent load limit, she counts a fixed share in the allocation of apartments to holders of housing entitlement certificates and a certain proportion of subsidized apartments in the construction of new quarters. Giffey is sticking to its goal of 200,000 new apartments by 2030 despite the ongoing problems, which have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, such as supply bottlenecks, shortages of raw materials and price increases.
At the same time, the SPD politician admitted: “We will probably not create the 20,000 apartments in the first year.” But it is also an “average number”. Regarding the Left Party’s demands to avoid densification in residential areas, Giffey said: “With 0.9 percent vacancy in Berlin, we will not solve the housing problem with existing stock alone.”