Affordable Housing? In Tomorrow’s Germany: Wohngemeinnützigkeit!

view from the west of the German Reichstag
The Reichstag, where the German government has approved a plan for more affordable housing.

What is the Wohngemeinnützigkeit, or common good housing, law? Germany is planning to follow in earlier footsteps and attempting to entice the private sector into operating non-profit housing. Internationally, as with all these attempts, ‘success’ is founded upon an outpouring of riches from the public sector to the private sector. Money is the great persuader in free-enterprise societies.

The challenge for governments is to disguise this gaping hole in the government’s financial planning, so that the average person does not quite realize that the enticement to private developers comes from unpaid the tax dollars.

How well will Wohngemeinnützigkeit do the job? In exchange for offering homes with non-market rents, free market housing landlords will receive juicy tax breaks. This is money that will not be paid into government coffers. It will instead line housing owner’s pockets, and NOT provide amenities to the general public.

Read more at Germany resurrects an old policy — non-profit housing