Annual Karlsruher Volkswohnung press conference: Focus on tenants

Karlsruhe (pm / mt) – As in previous years, the Volkswohnung would like to continue to fulfill its mission of providing affordable housing for a large number of the population. According to the Karlsruhe housing association, every eight fan-shaped rental apartment in the city is a public apartment. This corresponds to approximately 197 hectares in the city area. The municipal housing cooperative is helping to contain price increases in the local housing market thanks to a low net rent of EUR 6.36 / m² and a high proportion of publicly subsidized housing. About 95 percent of the rents are KdU-adapted: they are below the cost rates that the employment office admits as reasonable accommodation costs. From this year on, an average of 70 percent of the apartments in the Volkswohnung’s future construction plans will be financed from public funds.

Photo: Jeff Mirkes / public flat

safe liquidity

In the second year of the pandemic, which was characterized by high dynamics and volatility, the Volkswohnung primarily wanted to ensure liquidity. “We closed the year financially soundly. Our annual surplus of 17.4 million euros is partly due to the sale of our shares in the development company Cité mbH – a success story with the city of Baden-Baden, which achieved its goals as a jointly achieved company, ”says Stefan Storz, Managing Director of Volkswohnung.

An important milestone in Oberreut

An important milestone for the coming years for the cooperative was the laying of the cornerstone on the Woerishoffer Strasse in Oberreut in the financial year 2021, where approximately 170 new apartments for rent will be built. Together with August-Klingler-Areal, a new district is being built with over 350 apartments in the Daxlanden district. The Volkswohnung also provides new, affordable living space in the Karlsruhe technology region: the cornerstone ceremony for nearly 200 apartments was also held in summer 2021 at the Stutensee “Wohnpark Mittendrin” and at the “Neue Mitte” in Rheinstetten.

A key task all the more important in times of uncertainty

“In times of great uncertainty, the basic task of the Volkswohnung is even more important. To ensure affordable housing in the long term, we in the Supervisory Board dealt with price changes last year that provide a fair, appropriate and transparent framework and prevent social hardship, ”explains Mayor Daniel Fluhrer, who serves as Chairman of the Volkswohnung Supervisory Board.

focus on people

Even with the new service offers for tenants, the focus was on people: in the midst of the pandemic, the Volkswohnung opened its seventh service office. Another building block for environmentally friendly mobility would be implemented with the Waldstadt cargo bike, which can be borrowed by all citizens free of charge. Since the spring of last year, tenants can also use many services related to leasing in digital form through the application and portal “Meine VOWO”. And the results of the spring 2021 tenant survey showed that the measures were working: a large proportion of those polled assessed the Volkswohnung as an honest and social owner. A large part assessed the level of rent as reasonable or even considered it cheap. Eight out of ten tenants would like to live again in a public apartment after moving house.

New construction works and modernization

In addition to new building measures, modernization is at the center of consideration as the pace of refurbishment is an important lever to achieve the ambitious goal of climate neutral housing by 2040. “Our retrofit program will be geared towards decarbonising in the coming years as residential heating is is one of the main sources of CO2emissions ”, adds Storz.

100th birthday of the Volkswohnung

Mayor Daniel Fluhrer thanked the Volkswohnung team for their successful work. “The Volkswohnung is kicking off its great, round jubilee year 2022 with great energy. I am especially pleased that the 100th anniversary has focused on those without whom the Volkswohnung would not exist: its tenants and their very personal stories.” The full annual report is available here.

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