100 million euros for tenant protection (neue-deutschland.de)

Most recently, tenants in front of the Heimstaden office in Friedrichstrasse demanded the exercise of district pre-emptive rights for apartment buildings.

Photo: Christian Mang

With a joint press release, the group leaders of the SPD, Left and Greens want to present the results of the budget negotiations in the House of Representatives this Thursday morning. In view of the corona crisis, like all federal and state governments, red-red-green has to readjust properly. In a first step, the center-left alliance announced in the summer that it wanted to approve six billion euros in loans, among other things to cover corona-related follow-up costs and finance business development. The idea behind it: According to the British economist John Maynard Keynes, the classic anti-cyclical approach is not to save after a crisis, but to invest properly.

In view of the renewed lockdown and relatively sobering current tax estimates, Red-Red-Green has to readjust again. To this end, the government parliamentary groups have now planned a second addition to the supplementary budget (see box). In addition to the already agreed six billion euros in new loans, another 1.1 billion euros will be added. On the one hand, this amount comes from a so-called replenishment list, which became necessary because the State of Berlin has to co-finance federal aid that has since been approved. It is about 600 million euros, which are available for the aforementioned Corona special aid, an investment fund and provision for loss of income. In addition, there are 500 million euros in new loans in order to be able to absorb further crisis-related consequences with new aid packages. The »rbb« reported on this on Wednesday with reference to information from the red-red-green government coalition. The supplementary budget is to be officially approved in the last session of the House of Representatives this year on December 10th.

Although there were discussions in the coalition about the agreed package based on nd information. “The social and economic effects of the pandemic will in some cases only become visible in the next few years, when, for example, the regulations on short-time work allowance and the regulations on insolvency law expire,” says the left-wing parliamentary group’s budget expert Steffen Zillich. At the same time, we already know that the loss of income for the state of Berlin due to the pandemic will extend well beyond the year 2021.

Looking to the years 2022 and 2023, there is a risk of major financial holes in the budget, which also threaten planned investments. In the event of the re-election of Red-Red-Green, this could ruin the first few years of government if there is no financial leeway. As “nd” recently reported, other federal states such as Saxony, Hesse and Bavaria have made completely different financial reserves with the provision called “Corona coping fund”. “Berlin should do it that way too,” demands Zillich. Otherwise the metropolis will for years lag behind “the lead in modernization” these countries are now acquiring with this money. However, the left was unable to assert itself with the strategic approach to financial provisions. In view of the difficult financial situation, however, it may also be that a third amendment to the supplementary budget will be necessary in spring 2021. Then it is also clear how the financial statements turned out to be.

However, the left-wing faction can ascribe a success in the talks: The coalition wants to replenish the so-called purchase fund with 100 million euros. This fund grants grants for the pre-purchases of houses for which real estate investors are not prepared to sign avoidance agreements to protect tenants in protected areas. In such a case, the district can then exercise its right of first refusal, but appropriate funds are required for this. “Especially the package purchases by Deutsche Wohnen and von Heimstaden show how effectively the state can enforce social behavior by landlords in milieu protection areas through avoidance agreements, if it is willing to exercise the right of first refusal,” says Zillich. “So that we can continue to use this instrument in the interests of the tenants, we have filled the pot for rights of first refusal,” said the parliamentary manager of the left-wing parliamentary group of this newspaper.

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