At a campaign rally in Germany today, Olaf Scholz, the Social Democratic candidate for the German Chancellorship and current Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister, presented his five-point plan for affordable housing, including more housing construction and lower prices.
Olaf Scholz, Vice Chancellor of Germany and Federal Minister of Finance, hopes to build at least 400,000 homes per year, 100,000 of which would be social housing.
Social Democratic Party (SPD) members believe that citizens should not be paying more than a third of their income in rent or that people with average incomes can no longer afford to live in cities, as well as the dream of home ownership, which is unattainable today.
He emphasizes that the main reason is the lack of housing, which drives up prices and makes real estate into objects of speculation, so building more housing is what needs to be done, above all else.
By bringing together the public and private sectors, the program envisions an alliance for affordable housing between the federal government, the federal states, municipalities, the construction industry, and homeowners’ and tenants’ associations.
According to him, the goal is to eliminate major obstacles to investment through mutual commitments.
Moreover, the Social Democrats want a moratorium on rents in regions with tense housing markets.
So they want to guarantee by law a minimum increase in rent in five years, a period that should allow for progress in building new housing, as well as a “brake on rental prices”, he adds.
Additionally, carbon pricing should not be borne by tenants, but by landlords.
He believes this is the only way to encourage more climate-friendly behavior, since only homeowners can carry out energy-efficient renovations.