Migration or migration – expert discussion on the future of rural living

Message from 07/19/2022

Serin Bartol (Social Democratic Party) has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2002 and since then has been responsible for construction and housing policy, first as a spokesperson, then as Deputy Leader of the Parliamentary Group of the SPD Parliamentary Group and now as Parliamentary Foreign Minister in the responsible Federal Ministry.



Photo: private

Bitzdorf. So it’s no wonder that local state parliament member Sabine Petzing Lichtentler invited him to an expert discussion with local and city mayors and associations.

The focus of the hour-and-a-half debate, which took place in the Betzdorf council chamber, was the future of rural living. Bartole explained in his rush that the framework terms are very heterogeneous nationwide, but also within a federal state, even within a region. Some communities may experience a sharp decline and the population is mostly elderly, while others are thriving, including those in rural areas, and there is a housing shortage. Therefore, various tools are needed to maintain the attractiveness of rural areas in the future. “However, it is a misunderstanding to locally believe that the attractiveness of the community can only be increased by new building areas,” the foreign minister said. Daycare, school, jobs, bandwidth, and more are other prerequisites that come into play in the decision to find a place to live. Vacancy management or installment payments also encourages people to sell vacant homes and apartments in order to keep the townships alive.

The mayors of Kirchen and Daden emphasized that the premiums paid to families who buy vacant properties have a positive effect and encourage the influx. But the needs of the elderly also played a role in the discussion with the Berlin guest. Serin Bartole predicted, “In the future, there will be a need for more age-friendly apartments that are also affordable,” and in this context, she also talked about the intensification and construction of multi-storey apartments. Recognizing the need, a discussion ensued about the length of the approval process, whether for building permits, preparing development plans or land use. Participants mentioned that there is an urgent need to work here.

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In the case of “classic” single-family homes in particular, building permits may take a long time to be granted compared to other areas. Bureaucracy is also often a stumbling block when it comes to launching innovative projects. Municipal housing associations can often be a good driving force here,” says Btzing-Lichtenthler, who regrets that no company or housing cooperative in the Altenkirchen region could invest. But she took the opportunity to offer Landesberatungsstelle Neues Wohnen “in Rhineland-Palatinate, as an example. For example, more than 100 residential care communities and co-housing projects have already been launched with the support of the State Advice Center, the Social Democratic Party politician (SPD) providing the services of the State Consulting Center (www.lsjv.de).

Finally, Sren Bartol has entered into the financing options provided by the federal government, especially in the area of ​​financing sports facilities, as this also serves to increase the attractiveness of the communities and village development. “As the State of Rhineland-Palatinate, we participate in the financing of the federal program“ Rural Centres ”, so that the municipalities have only a small share of their right”, the deputy described the framework conditions for the financing program and praised the municipalities that set the course for the municipal council and mayors, it means a lot of work in planning monitoring and implementation. But it is a work that pays off. This was also confirmed by the local politicians present. The expert discussion marked the beginning of a regular exchange on the topic of housing with the community family. Looking to the future, Sabine Bitzing-Lichtenthler thanked everyone for the committed discussion.

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