Federal Building Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD) estimates that the need for housing in Germany is even greater than before – even though the current new building targets are not being met. “Actually, we probably even need 500,000 to 600,000 apartments a year because the refugees from the Ukraine have arrived,” she told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”. Only at the beginning of the week did the minister admit that the construction target of 400,000 apartments would again be missed this year.

“At the end of the day, I will not measure the success of my policy by a fixed number, but by whether there is an upward trend in social housing,” said Geywitz. It is important that public funds make a contribution to affordable rents.

Geywitz: More haste with the rental price brake

In order to cope with the rising rents, the minister called on the responsible Ministry of Justice to hurry up the rental price brake. It is “high time” that Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) tackles the steps laid down in the coalition agreement, she told the “Spiegel” on Friday. “It would be good if spring didn’t have to break out over us first.”

The governing parties SPD, Greens and FDP had agreed in the coalition agreement to extend the rental price brake until 2029 and to lower the so-called capping limit. It caps existing rents in particularly heated housing markets. Both legal procedures are not exactly complex, Geywitz told the “Spiegel”. As far as they know, a draft already exists. “In principle, only two numbers have to be exchanged.”

The Minister of Construction was also open to capping so-called index rents. They are linked to inflation, which puts a particular strain on tenants in times of rising consumer prices. Geywitz could imagine linking index rents to general rental price developments or setting a cap here, too, she said. “But that’s not in the coalition agreement, and the FDP sees no need for action.”