Social housing in Germany: not easy, but probably

When it comes to German social policy, For some reason, the Russian man in the street immediately imagines manna from heaven in unlimited quantities and paradise for all polls. In fact, this richest country in Europe has enough problems. They just try to solve them.

Hard times

Germany withdrew from World War II with significant losses: in the western territories was completely destroyed 20% and damaged 25% residential sector. In addition, a stream of refugees poured into West Germany: Czech, Polish and Russian Germans were about 10 million people, which, as well as the locals left without a roof, it was necessary to provide housing. anticipated, that for this it was necessary to increase the residential sector by 50%.

As you might expect from practical Germans, they approached the matter thoroughly. Here they rejected the option of "Churchill houses" - cheap housing, designed for 10-12 years. They didn't get the idea, embodied in the Soviet Union under Khrushchev, when the living was built with the expectation of operation during 25 years. The Germans considered it a waste of funds and went the other way.: they created a system, working on the pooling of private capital and government subsidies.

In Germany, housing construction was declared the number one priority. For 1945–1957. was erected 5 million housing units with a total area of ​​about 250 million square feet. m - about 50 quarter. m for a family. The volume of investments in housing construction exceeded 5% GDP countries. The share of government support to the sector ranged from 30 to 50% of the total investment.

The state paid the gap between the investor's expenses on housing construction and his rental income - investor, who built residential real estate in Germany, continued to operate it. End user, poor tenant, received quality housing at a rental price of up to 10% his income.

When, by the end of the 50s, the problem of housing for the poor was solved in Germany, the state has seriously reduced subsidies: almost every year the original figure dropped by 10%. Another ingenious move was the choice of housing typology: abandoning apartment buildings in favor of small houses with a garden, the government significantly reduced social tensions. Think for yourself, what to do for a proletarian in a comfortable apartment after work? That way he can join socialist movements and become a dangerous troublemaker.. Another thing is the homeowner: there is always something to do in the house and in the garden, there is no time for revolutionary fermentation.

Worth noting specifically, that housing was never given to anyone for free - just every potential tenant made a contribution. This wise policy did not give rise to abuse in the allocation of housing.

New wave

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 In a certain sense, Germany again faced the problem of an acute shortage of social housing, only this time the stream of Germans moved from the GDR to the FRG. Immigrants from the former USSR provided substantial "help" in settling the empty housing: it was their state that provided apartments for the Germans who rushed to the West. And we must pay tribute: the number of settlers eventually reached 3 million, and they all have a roof over their heads.

The integration of migrants was thoroughly thought out. Newcomers usually settled in a hostel, Where, however, did not stay long: usually no more 6 months. Then they found apartments, which rent for pensioners for 100% paid by the state, for the rest there were different support programs. According to German Interior Minister Wolfgang Scholbe, only 22 thousands of IDPs are unemployed, the rest have successfully integrated in the new country.

The system for providing emigrants with social housing was well-oiled and failed only in exceptional cases. Usually these failures were "programmed" by the emigrants themselves, who were not active enough to assimilate: did not learn the language, did not accept local customs, did not try to find a job.

curious, that Germany initially clearly defined the status of its guests: they, who was to become a citizen and stay in the country, belonged to other social security units, rather than temporary emigrants. So, accepting for a while disadvantaged emigrants from Arab countries, Germany did not leave them in the country "at random". After few years, when the danger is over, the German state built social housing in their homeland and returned temporary refugees to their home environment.

Problems remain

Need to say, that Germany has extensive experience in the construction of social housing. Last year UNESCO included in the World Heritage List 6 workers' settlements in Berlin, built in the first decades 20 century by famous German architects Gropius, Taut and Sharoun. Erected between 1913 by 1934 years at the initiative of the city authorities, the settlements were created in accordance with the most modern ideas of that time about the rules of hygiene and organization of life. All apartments in the villages are equipped with a toilet and a bathroom, central heating, as well as a balcony or loggia. The rooms in the apartments are divided according to the functional principle.

However, experience does not always help.. Due to the unification of Germany, the subsequent economic recession and growth of the budget deficit, local authorities practically lost the opportunity to expand the social housing stock.

The growth of the residential sector is constantly slowing down, prices are rising, and the worst of all is with social apartments. Over the past five years alone, their number has decreased annually by 100 thousand. If in the 80s in Germany there were about 4 million, then 2003 year this figure dropped to 1,7 million. So, in West Berlin, the number of social apartments has halved and today is only 6% of the total housing stock of the city, and in Dresden, the magistrate almost completely privatized social housing.

After the expiration of the contract with the city magistrates, large homeowners increase their rent so much, that it is losing its social status and becomes inaccessible to the poor. Prices for apartments in big cities (Munich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, etc.) 25-35% higher, than the national average.

The number of people evicted for rent arrears is growing - now these people are forced to live in worse conditions. The problem of lack of social housing affects many: in the country more 5 million unemployed, and further 5,5 million people have incomes at the subsistence level. In the end 2008 of the year 16% of the German population belonged to the poor and needed housing at affordable prices.

How view, there is no paradise for the poor in Germany. Moreover, saying "Tell me, in what district do you live, and I will say, who are you "rigidly regulates the life of German society. Children from poor areas, regardless of giftedness, rarely manage to go to prestigious schools, so the future of the poor does not look particularly bright. At the same time, their present, through sound social policies, not so dramatic.

Author: Victoria Greguolydo

Journal “Owner”

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