Fast solutions for the accommodation of more than 60,000 war refugees from Ukraine in Berlin with permanent residence status – nil return: Before the Committee for Urban Development in the House of Representatives, Building Senator Andreas Geisel (SPD) explained on Monday that the plots intended for this purpose “because of nature conservation, species protection, lack of transport connections ’ and other problems were out of the question in the short term.

Instead, the Senate now wants to densify six locations that have already been developed with “modular accommodation for refugees” (MUFs). In addition, MUFs could arise at some of the residential construction sites selected by the Senate for which no development plans exist yet.

Thanks to an exemption from the federal government, the MUFs can also be built without a development plan, but must comply with all applicable guidelines. The state must then have submitted the correct construction plan for the MUF property no later than three years later.

The housing shortage in Berlin determined large parts of the committee meeting – and an isolated piece of good news: only three applications per month for the conversion of a rental apartment into a property are currently received by the districts; after 18,800 conversions in 2020 and slightly fewer last year.

A clause in the building code that is valid until 2025 allows the federal states to refuse conversions in the event of a housing shortage. Berlin makes use of this.

On the other hand, the balance sheet for social housing remains devastating: According to Geisel, only 1011 new objects were built last year. It would take 5,000 a year to ensure that the stock of these particularly cheap rental apartments does not continue to melt away.

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A new funding should fix it, the Senate wants to spend 739 instead of 500 million euros. The higher construction costs are to be offset with higher subsidized loans and more waivers by the state on loan repayments.

In Hamburg and Düsseldorf there are more applicants for social housing loans than there are funds, and that could also happen in Berlin, said Geisel. An annual adjustment of the subsidy to the construction costs should serve this purpose.