It was a great pleasure to contribute to a TV broadcasting on the shortage of affordable housing in European cities on the TV station ARTE. I took part in a studio discussion in Paris, together with Marianne Louis, General Director of the French Union Sociale pour l’Habitat and Kai Warnecke, President of the German Association of Real Estate Owners. I’m posting a quickly translated blurb of the show below. It is still available to watch online, either in German or in French. I’m also embedding the video at the end of this post, but I’m not sure this works.
German version: https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/106527-021-A/27-das-europaeische-magazin/
French version: https://www.arte.tv/fr/videos/106527-021-A/27/
Europe’s housing crisis: Is housing becoming unaffordable?
Within 10 years, the sales prices for flats in the European Union have risen by 48 %, for rents by 18 %. Not only the big capitals Paris, Berlin or London are affected. In Ireland, for example, rents rose by 82 %. One in ten Europeans now spends more than 40% of their income on housing. This is a worrying situation as the number of homeless people has increased by 70% in the same period. Are we witnessing the end of affordable housing in Europe?
These are the questions the three guests on the show discuss: Marianne Louis from France, Director General of the Union Sociale pour l’Habitat (umbrella organisation for social housing) pleads for an ambitious state housing policy to overcome the crisis. Dr. Kai Warnecke, President of Haus und Grund, the central association of German house, flat and land owners, accuses the state of having caused the shortage in the first place and of wanting to pass the costs on to private property buyers. Justin Kadi, urban researcher and assistant professor at the Faculty of Spatial Planning at Vienna University of Technology, presents how the commercialisation of housing – and the passivity of the public sector – have brought about this crisis.
The conversation is complemented by contributions from nine Europeans who explored the problem in the run-up to the programme. Further insight is provided by a reportage in Vienna, the European capital that has best withstood the crisis.