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Real estate: Tax relief should bring more affordable housing

Real estate: Tax relief should bring more affordable housing

There is a shortage of hundreds of thousands of affordable apartments in Germany. A new funding instrument is intended to help. But experts doubt that it will achieve much.

The federal government wants to ensure that there are more affordable rental apartments by reducing taxes. Companies that offer permanently affordable apartments are to be given tax incentives. The cabinet introduced such a regulation on Wednesday. It will now be debated in the Bundestag.

The so-called non-profit housing system is not a new instrument, but it was abolished in Germany in 1990. The SPD, Greens and FDP had agreed to reactivate it in the coalition agreement.

Anyone who wants to benefit from the tax relief must permanently offer their apartment at a rent below the market price. Unlike social housing, these apartments do not fall out of the price control after a few years.

The federal government assumes that around 100 social enterprises, associations and non-profit foundations could use the regulation. Around 105,000 low-income tenants could benefit from it.

Tenants’ association expresses doubts

However, the tenants’ association strongly doubts that the concept will actually lead to more and permanently affordable housing. Investment subsidies are missing, said President Lukas Siebenkotten. “In the opinion of experts, this will only help the companies that are already non-profit.”

The housing industry sees the tax relief as a useful addition in the fight against the housing shortage – but appealed to the government to set up a broader support system. There is now a shortage of 800,000 apartments, explained the industry association GdW. In view of the permanently higher interest rates and simultaneously increased costs, this can only be achieved through a short-term interest program.

Source: Stern

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