Black Label’s Solutions to the Affordable Housing Crisis in Berlin

Black Label’s Solutions to the Affordable Housing Crisis in Berlin

  • Berlin in affordable housing crisis
  • A challenged real estate industry
  • Black Label’s solutions

It’s no secret that Berlin’s housing market has faced many challenges in recent years. One of its biggest is the city’s inability to provide enough affordable housing to satisfy the ever increasing demand.

Last week Black Label were asked to comment on this crisis by the national German newspaper, die →Welt.

The real estate industry is under constant challenge. Instead of moaning about evil populist politicians however, we need to find the solutions. This can only be done in collaboration with tenants and future property owners.

So, here are our proposals.
Specifically, the following 11 points should be implemented in housing policy:

  1. The abolition of land transfer tax for first-time buyers of residential property, provided that the apartment or house is occupied by them themselves.
  2. General lowering of the tax burden for the real estate buyer, currently 6 to 6.5 percent real estate transfer tax – this should be reduced to a maximum of 4 percent.
  3. The state must continue to build affordable housing and not pass the hardship of those seeking housing on to market players. Why is this not happening sufficiently?
  4. Government processes should be digitised and generally made more efficient. There is an urgent need to change building regulations so that more housing can be created.
  5. Promoting citizens’ home ownership, just as the Constitution says.
  6. Linking rent to income. Tenants who earn a lot and live in state-subsidised flats or in protected areas should also pay more rent. This will relieve the burden on tenants who earn less.
  7. Abolition of the rent brake and concentration on environmental protection. Create positive incentives for landlords to offer more affordable housing (e.g. tax advantages for depreciation).
  8. Promote renewable energies and at the same time create incentives for landlords to use them.
  9. Construction of new housing by the state in unused areas, in Berlin allotment colonies, Tegel Airport (future), Tempelhof Airport outdoor areas and many other fallow areas. In addition, the densification of current residential areas (see supermarket areas), as well as the abolition of the out-of-date Berlin eaves height.
  10. Investments in new educational locations on the outskirts of Berlin, best example: Adlershof. Similar measures are lacking, for example, in Spandau and Reinickendorf, which would relieve the burden on districts in high demand.
  11. Investments in faster suburban railways and further expansion of regional transport, which would relieve road traffic more. Commuters would be able to get into the city easily and get home quickly. With these measures, even more people would be prepared to move into the surrounding areas.