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German housing crisis: ‘Like winning the lottery!’


Deutsche Welle


Oliver Pieper


Housing is the social issue of the 21st century, German politicians and experts say time and again. And yet there’s no improvement in sight, especially in cities, where affordable housing is in short supply.

A look at the figures shows just how dire the situation on the German housing market really is: There is a shortage of over 800,000 apartments in Germany, a figure that is growing. More than 9.5 million people, mostly single parents and their children, live in cramped conditions, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

“The strategy of just build, build, build won’t work. The most important thing is that construction is inexpensive and remains affordable in the long term. If you look to Austria or Switzerland, which also have a large rental market, there are certainly models that could be used to create housing for the long term. Vienna is a shining example, where almost half of all apartments are owned by the city. This ensures that housing in Vienna is affordable.”

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