Government advisers are opposed to the rent and social housing. Federal Minister of Justice Barley reacts furiously. She regards the opinion of the scientists as irresponsible.
Minister of Justice Katarina Barley criticizes an opinion of the advisory council of the federal Ministry of Economic Affairs. Among other things, the Scientific Advisory Council recommends abolishing the rental price and significantly reducing social housing.
In the "Rheinische Post", Barley called it irresponsible "if scientists now argue against social housing and want to regulate the market". Everyone knows that the market only creates a few affordable properties, said the SPD politician in the paper. "Investors are mainly interested in profit and not in real need, for example for young families and pensioners."
Against the excesses of the market
The fact that rents have risen sharply, especially in large cities, and many people find no affordable housing, according to Barley is also due to the fact that in the past too little has been invested in social housing. "We now have to regulate the excesses of the market and build more apartments," she demanded.
The scientific advisory board of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs had accused the government of using the wrong solutions in the fight against the housing shortage. The rental brake is not effective, even social housing does not really solve the problems. The committee advocated, among other things, the increase of residential mortgages and the lowering of barriers to housing.
Wide front against expert opinion
Other politicians criticized the recommendations of the scientists. "What we need is no longer an unrestrained market, but more social housing and a functioning rent brake," says Chris Kühn, spokesperson for housing policy in the Greens. In the report he sees a "frontal attack on social housing policy". Left Deputy Caren Lay accused the Advisory Board that the study came "in their market ideology to completely wrong conclusions".
The Managing Director of the German Association of Cities, Helmut Dedy, regards social housing as the most important tool for providing affordable housing for people on a low income. The German Trade Union Confederation has expressed similar views. The advice of the advisory group would be "a further division of society pre-programmed", warned DGB board member Stefan Körzell.
No apartments without owners
On the other hand, the compliments for the recommendations from the government advisors came from the owners' association Haus & Grund. The policy must finally put the private owners back at the heart of their housing policy, demanded Federal President Kai Warnecke. Only with owners can the offer of apartments be sufficiently extended.
Just in July, Justice Minister Barley had weakened the planned revision of the rent brake after the criticism of the Union had come. The change concerns which modernization costs landlords may transfer to tenants.