Unsanierter Altbau Ein sanierter und ein unsanierter Altbau in der Rigaer Strasse in Berlin Friedrichshain. Unsanierter The old building a restored and a Unsanierter The old building in the Riga Road in Berlin Friedrichshain

It is enough! The building cost reduction commission of the Alliance for Affordable Housing and Building delivers a report. More and more money is being made available to the federal states for the construction of social housing, because more apartments are released from the occupancy restriction than are newly built. There is a debate about synchronizing construction law in the different countries.

Serious project developers – yes, there are those too – offer themselves to the cities and communities for mutually beneficial business deals. Chambers of architects advocate expansion and reconstruction instead of new construction. It didn’t help and doesn’t help anything. We’re not getting anywhere.

There is no shortage of suggestions. But in their implementation. The housing construction organized by politicians in the big cities has not been able to offer a home on the market for every budget for years. Be it for sale or for rent. The new building standards, which have been raised due to the climate, are driving the price spiral further upwards. As is the alternative investment of money in concrete gold.

War, inflation, leaky supply chains, lack of gas supplies, expensive fuel, and refugee movements now make the problem visible in a distorted mirror. An explosive mixture can be seen. Social peace is in danger, as are the economic foundations of the housing industry.

Happy the one who still has? Who can still afford his own housing? What if the number of foreclosures increases? What if apartments suddenly become cheaper because nobody can afford them anymore? What if construction projects that have already started are no longer paid for in the wake of inflation and unemployment, and loans can no longer be serviced? Then the bubble bursts.

But there are still people who can afford the high prices – with the support of family and friends. But the prices for new buildings are rising more than they have been in more than 50 years. Construction costs in Germany increased by 17.6 percent in May compared to the previous year, according to data published yesterday by the Federal Statistical Office. This is the largest year-on-year increase since May 1970. The reasons given are scarce and expensive materials and high demand.

So out of the dream. Where – as in Berlin – almost 40 percent of the household income has to be spent on interest, repayment and ancillary housing costs for the purchase of an apartment in an old building, the dream of a newly built home becomes a nightmare. Tenants are no better off: the growing energy costs are an incalculable unknown. And not only her. Borrowing costs are also increasing.

What shall we do? First of all, the federal government and the state of Berlin should be honest and overturn the illusory new construction targets: 400,000 new apartments a year are not possible, and the price doesn’t even make the music. In Germany, the authorities have so far issued fewer building permits for housing this year than a year earlier.

The target is far too low anyway because of the Ukraine refugees. There will be more refugees, not fewer. This also applies to Berlin, which claimed at the end of May that it had sufficient emergency accommodation. 20,000 newly built apartments in the capital per year – as at the federal level, that is no more than a declaration of intent. Since 2006, housing has been a state matter, and there is little reason to hope that anything will change.

The money is (still) there, but the countries get bogged down in bogus alliances ideologically. Honesty would now be the trump card: housing benefit for those who need it instead of spending on exercising communal rights of first refusal. A partnership with the private construction and housing industry would be desirable, more staff in the approval and implementation of construction projects in the authorities is necessary.