Public housing construction stalls because subsidies are not being used

The state chairwoman of Alliance 90/The Greens Saxony-Anhalt, Madeleine Linke, criticizes the irresponsible handling of the Saxony-Anhalt Ministry for Infrastructure and Digital of the funds made available by the federal government for public housing. As it became known, Saxony-Anhalt has not used about 21.6 million euros in the program year 2020, in 2021 28 million euros and 2022 again million euros of federal funds for social housing.

Linke comments: “The situation on the housing market in Saxony-Anhalt is worrying. Particularly in large cities like Halle and Magdeburg, as well as in medium-sized towns, low-cost housing is hard to find. Families with more than two children, people with smaller incomes or pensioners with low pensions are particularly affected. Saxony-Anhalt is a state characterized by old-age poverty and the aging of society. At the same time, there is a very high vacancy rate, often with a high refurbishment backlog.

To counteract this, the German government decided in 2020 to provide funding for social housing construction. According to the Königstein Formula, this means that around 27.5 million euros will be available to Saxony-Anhalt. But the legal framework, which is set out in the ‘Guidelines on the granting of subsidies to promote rental housing construction in the state of Saxony-Anhalt,’ is structured in such a way that not even the municipal housing associations or cooperatives want to or are able to use this funding.”

It was already clear during the hearing in the Committee for Infrastructure and Digital Affairs on 13.05.2022 that there was an urgent need for improvement. To date, however, no change has been made. Instead, over 20 million euros have been returned to the federal government every year. Madeleine Linke: “This is a disastrous handling of the investment potential that the state of Saxony-Anhalt lacks.”

Linke therefore calls for better funding framework conditions that also make economic sense regionally in new housing construction. In particular, numerous vacant apartments with acute refurbishment backlogs should be redeveloped for apartments with rent as well as occupancy commitment. Linke adds: “This is not only socially, but also ecologically meaningful. It is high time that the Ministry for Infrastructure and Digital acts and adjusts the legal framework so that the funds provided by the federal government can actually be used.”