Back to the future: In Berlin, the construction of new apartments is subsidized again.
As done already in the 80s and 90s, the Senate of Berlin wants to boost the residential construction activities with a lot of money. In a Senate session from Tuesday, 25.03.2014, the city decided to provide a fund of 320 million euros running over the next five years. The target is to promote every year about 1,000 apartments in the German capital.
Mainly urban housing companies will benefit from the fund, but also private investors can apply for subsidiaries, says Urban Development Senator Michael Mueller. The expectation of the Senate in the new program is high. The new fund is a central element in the recalibration of the housing policy in Berlin.
The Senate aims square meter rents for apartments in central areas between 6.00 and 7.50 euros. About one third of all subsidized buildings are meant for lower incomes. In order to get one of those apartments, one needs an official license; the so called Wohnberechtigungsschein (WBS) that proves that a person is really entitled to get this one. In order to prevent the gentrification of tenants to the border areas of Berlin, projects within the Berlin city-train circle will be treated preferentially.
Together with the resolution of the new housing fund the "City Development Plan Living" was adopted. According to latter, Berlin will have an additional housing requirement of 137,000 new homes until 2025.
A big problem for the Senate is the uncertainty of the development plans of Tempelhof airfield, where according to the plans of the Senate a good part of the new homes shall be built. Most of the parties represented in the Berlin House of Representatives support the project that will provide up to 4,700 new homes. The destiny of Berlin´s oldest airport will be decided in a referendum in May, 25. The public debate about the future of Tempelhofer Flugfeld (Tempelhof Airfield) is being fought since the airport was put out of service in 2008. Currently, the public park with an area of approximately 386 hectares bordering the districts of Neukölln, Kreuzberg and Tempelhof, is an open space used for concerts and as leisure zone.