Study by the Pestel Institute: Millions of age-appropriate apartments are missing

Status: 04/17/2023 1:30 p.m

According to a study, 2.2 million age-appropriate apartments are missing in Germany. The left also warns of an impending housing shortage for senior citizens – and criticizes the federal housing policy.

According to a study by the Pestel Institute, around 2.2 million low-barrier and age-appropriate apartments are missing nationwide. According to the head of the study, Matthias Günther from the Pestel Institute in Hanover, only around 600,000 of the senior households even have an apartment “in which people with a walker and wheelchair can cope”.

The Pestel Institute prepared the study on behalf of the Federal Association of German Building Materials Specialists (BDB) and presented it at the International Construction Fair in Munich.

Study: By 2040 million apartments needed for seniors

Günther continued, however, that the lack of apartments suitable for the elderly would get even worse over the next few years. According to the study, an increase is to be expected in the coming years: by 2040, at least 3.3 million age-appropriate apartments for senior citizens would be needed. The fact that these apartments would then also exist was “purely wishful thinking,” explained Günther.

Poverty risk of need for care

The study identifies the need for care in old age as the greatest risk of poverty: On average, inpatient care today costs around 2,410 euros per month, which an older person has to contribute themselves. “However, more than half of senior households have less than 2,000 euros net per month,” explains Günther.

In the end it is “very often” the state that has to step in. He should therefore have an interest in people in need of care “being able to live at home for as long as possible”. This in turn required significantly more age-appropriate housing.

The left calls for more money for social housing

The left demanded significantly more money for social housing and changes in tenancy law in favor of seniors and young families. “Instead of the previous almost three billion euros in funding, at least 15 billion euros are needed to create apartments for low and average earners,” said the housing policy spokeswoman for the left in the Bundestag, Caren Lay, the news portal “t-online” before the Start of the International Construction Fair.

Lay called the impending housing shortage for senior citizens alarming and shameful for a rich country like Germany. “This is where an inactive housing policy and a wrong pension policy take revenge,” she criticized. Lay also wants to anchor a new option for seniors and young families to exchange homes in tenancy law. “This allows seniors to move into a smaller apartment without paying more rent in the end.”

The industry is suffering from increased construction costs, rising interest rates and a shortage of skilled workers. According to the Ifo Institute, there is a growing wave of cancellations, with every fourth housing construction company reporting too few orders.

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