What is the history of the apartments

70 years agoFirst housing law in the history of the Federal Republic

"Millions live in overcrowded apartments, hundreds of thousands in bunkers and barracks. What does that mean? Careless housewives, scornful men who find no rest and rest in a comfortable home after a hard day's work. And that means joyless children."

The inventory with which Eberhard Wildermuth of the FDP opened the Bundestag debate on the housing shortage in February 1950 was gloomy: around five million apartments were missing in the bombed cities, and almost half of the German citizens were sublet. Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer declared the problem to be a top priority, because: "Housing construction is the most essential requirement in order to lead the German people towards a political, economic and ethical and cultural recovery."

Focus on home ownership

In this "recovery process", Adenauer's Christian Democrats in particular relied on a tried and tested home remedy - their own home. The CDU member Josef Brönner emphasized: "We would like to see the emphasis in housing construction on property. If you have your own house, your whole family lives differently than if they are pressed into an apartment on one floor. The more property you own Apartments, the happier the population is. "

For the FDP MP Wildermuth, the protection and strengthening of private property were in the foreground when he took up his post as housing minister: "Here is the joint where social housing - from around 1200 million marks this year - meets the free and mobile Markets of capital, which is still a very carefully preserved little plant today. "

In addition to financially strong investors, numerous small investors should be financially supported when buying their own home. This was considered "social housing" - and was promoted with the First Housing Act passed on March 28, 1950 through building society premiums and tax breaks. The SPD member Erich Klabunde stated: "Besides, we - and that was just a Social Democratic proposal - created an extraordinarily high incentive by paying substantial interest on equity, so that the interest of the population in lending money is not something is distracted from residential construction by higher interest rates elsewhere. "

Speculation with building land was a thorn in the side of the KPD

Invest privately, but without the intention of making a profit, only for personal use. In reality, this ideal of non-profit housing construction was opposed to private ownership of land - and the possible speculation with building land as a result. Above all, it was a thorn in the side of the Communist Party. The KPD deputy Hugo Paul, on the other hand, presented the GDR as a shining example: "If one had carried out those democratic measures here in West Germany that were carried out in the German Democratic Republic, namely the land reform and the expropriation of the big capitalists, then one would have less worries in the procurement of building land. "

In 1945 the occupying powers had ordered housing management in the western zones, but the Bundestag wanted to override this by passing the Housing Act. The KPD deputy warned against this. "That is not possible, ladies and gentlemen. That would mean that the wealthy have excellent apartments, while the poor people are still in the bunker."

The KPD wanted to protect the socially and financially weaker people from this injustice by maintaining state-set rents, ie with a "rent cap". At that time, the SPD even went a step further, its MP Klabunde demanded: "To submit an expropriation law on building land, which, if necessary, even goes beyond the limits of the Basic Law, because the limits of the Basic Law do not meet the needs for the supply of refugee housing and social housing with building land satisfy."

But that remained a recommendation in March 1950. And later housing laws also largely omitted the subject of building land expropriation.