Housing market in Germany: every fourth tenant household is at risk of poverty

Status: 10/30/2021 3:57 p.m.

According to the federal government, a quarter of all households that rent in Germany are at risk of poverty. In view of the numbers, the Left Party is pushing for higher wages and a nationwide rent cap.

Every fourth German tenant household is at risk of poverty: in 2019, 25.3 percent of all tenant households in Germany were considered to be at risk of poverty. This emerges from a response from the federal government to a request from the Left Party, which the Evangelical Press Service and the “Rheinische Post” have received.

The so-called poverty risk rate among tenants is therefore about twice as high as that of property owners. However, the rate of property owners at risk of poverty has also increased significantly in recent years. In 2019, it was 12.5 percent among property owners.

In Europe, people are classified as at risk of poverty if they have less than 60 percent of the average income of the total population.

Corona crisis exacerbates the risk of poverty

The risk of poverty rate among tenants has risen in recent years. In 2017 it was still 24.6 percent. Due to the Corona crisis since the beginning of 2020, the risk of poverty is likely to have worsened for both tenants and owners.

In its answer, the Federal Government refers to the last available data. In almost all EU member states, tenants are more at risk of poverty than owners, according to the answer.

“The rents keep rising”

The deputy parliamentary group leader of the Left Party in the Bundestag, Susanne Ferschl, called for a nationwide rent cap in view of the numbers. “While wages are stagnating or even falling due to the pandemic, rents are rising incessantly,” she said. An ever larger part of the income has to be paid for rent. “People need affordable housing and wages that they can live on.”


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