Berlin state government is constantly reworking its housing policy. On the 13th February the senate determined a new procedure that speeds up the realization of construction projects.1 The new measure followed at the turn of the year after the current practiced housing policy in Berlin faced criticism from the SPD and the ruling mayor Michael Müller.2 The criticism is especially aimed at the urban development senator Katrin Lompscher from the left-wing party, as she is the main responsible for construction policy in Berlin.
The now adopted measures will come into effect when investors and authorities face conflicts while planning a housing construction project and the realization of the project gets delayed or completely cancelled. The procedure to find a conflict solution consists of a maximum of three stages and it should be completed after half a year. Nowadays those solutions take years, if they ever get resolved. As the Tagesspiegel reported, the senate administration for urban development and living discussed in the last five years 400 cases of conflict – more than half of them were resolved.3
The ruling mayor wants to co-determine
Even at the new act the construction control center conveys between investors and administrations. If that is not leading to a solution after 2 months, the steering committee residential construction under the presidency of the senate administration for urban development and living will make a decision. This so called decision-making-conference is led by the senate Lompscher or her state secretary and permanent members of the committee are furthermore the Senate Chancellery, the senate administration for environment, traffic and climate protection as well as the senate administration for the economy. The decision-making-conference only consults one case twice with an interval of one month in between. If the committee is not able to find a solution, the case goes to the senate and will be determined there.
The three-stage procedure should avoid that district administrations permanently block useful housing interventions. It is especially important to the ruling mayor Müller (SPD) that private housing economy is not thwarted and that the cities building objectives – until 2030, there have to be built 200.000 new flats – are not in danger. Müllers spokeswoman told the Berliner Morgenpost, that the ruling mayor will probably participate in person at the decision-making-conferences led by Lompscher or her state secretary.4