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Baden-Württemberg takes action against empty apartments

Baden-Württemberg takes action against empty apartments

The new proposition would give money to owners so they put their vacant property for rent, bringing down overall prices

Today, Housing Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Nicole Razavi, presented his new strategy to bring vacant homes back on the rental market. The strategy focuses on providing cash incentives for owners. The funds will be distributed to local authorities and then make their way to landlords.

The second focus of the proposition revolves around boosting the capacity of the existing housing stock by dividing single-family homes into apartments. Currently, this is the flagship policy of the state to tackle the housing crisis – increase supply so much that prices have no choice but to drop.

From project to policy

The testing phase of this project began last year when the state supplied 60 future landlords with grants of 2,000 euros each for putting their apartments on the rental market. The Baden-Württemberg government regards this phase as a success and plans to expand the practice into a full-fledged housing policy.

The state is ready to provide up to 1 million euros to finance the scheme, with different bonuses available for different types of contributors. For instance, people who subdivide single-family homes into apartments have a chance to get a bonus, too.

Affordable housing crisis in Baden-Württemberg

Baden-Württemberg is one of the states in Germany with the highest property prices, construction prices and housing prices. Stuttgart, the state capital, is the second most expensive city to rent in Germany, after Frankfurt.

This prompted the local government to start the so-called Housing Offensive back in 2018, with the goal to curb prices, help municipalities to construct homes and generally provide more affordable housing.

Currently, the main instrument in the housing offensive is the buying of construction land and then selling it to cash-strapped municipalities. Minister Razavi explained that this was the first step towards boosting the affordable housing options in the state. Now, local authorities are ready to make the second one.

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