BERLIN (dpa-AFX) - Last year, the federal, state and local governments spent a total of more than 20 billion euros on housing allowances and on accommodation and heating for job-seekers on a citizen's allowance. This is according to an answer from the Federal Building Ministry to a question from Left Party member of parliament Caren Lay, which is available to the German Press Agency. In contrast, expenditure on social housing only accounted for a fraction of this - a grievance, as Lay criticized. This is because private landlords are demanding rent increases instead of affordable housing.

This year, the federal government is making 3.15 billion euros available to the federal states for social housing construction. Last year it was 2.5 billion euros, and from 2025 it is to be 3.5 billion euros per year. In total, a good 18 billion euros are to flow from 2022 to 2027. As the federal states themselves are contributing their share, experience shows that social housing construction will benefit from more than twice as much in total, the government explained in its response.

In her opinion, Lay criticized the government for setting the wrong priorities. Even if the payments of housing costs and housing benefit are necessary, they are not considered sustainable according to experts. "The state rent payments end up subsidizing private rent increases," said the Left Party politician. The government must now invest much more in affordable housing in order to reduce expenditure in the long term. Lay demanded more social and non-profit housing construction and a rent freeze to ensure permanently affordable housing./asn/DP/mis