Thursday, March 30, 2017

Immigration and Housing Topic

Focus put up a piece today talking to the subject in Germany of housing issues for migrants and immigrants. It stimulates a good conversation.

In this story, they used Duisburg....a German city to the far north and just 10 km west of Essen.  This region of NRW (North Rhineland Westphalia).....has been the magnet for the past five years drawing a large migrant population.  Part of the issue is the population that existed prior to this surge in 2013 to present, and part of it is due to the 'key' business (a German state agreed upon ratio where you get paid money out of the national pot of revenue depending on various economic and population features of your state).  The key is used as well for distributing refugees and asylum-seekers coming into Germany.

If you were looking for more key reference material....Google up Konigstein Key.

What Focus points out is that there is a problem noted now in the city of Duisburg.....486,000 in population.  Affordable housing is practically impossible to find.  When you do find such housing, most landlords now have a personal preference NOT to rent to immigrants.  In their mind, while somewhat illegal....there are 99 different ways of denying the apartment to such migrants.

A decade checks on potential renters were rarely if ever done.  Today?  It's a growing trend.  If you don't have a job, or have a real work contract (doing hour-by-hour work instead)....then it's fairly easy and legal to deny you the apartment.

Face it....apartment construction isn't going on to any big degree, and if they are being built....these are not at the low affordable level.

Dragging this into court?  Unless you said something really stupid in your speech denying the migrant the apartment....most lawyers can get you off the hook.  At some point, some political folks will likely create a heavy fine for apartment owners and try to push them into a corner with no way out.

There are primarily two issues at work here.

The first is the fact that major urban cities in Germany aren't in some era of mass construction of affordable housing.  In the Frankfurt area, if you ask about construction trends....large condo buildings are being built....not apartment buildings.  If you did have an interest in the condo'd need at least 300,000 Euro to talk about buying a nicer 1-bedroom deal in the upscale part of town.  Why no surge on affordable housing?  Where's the profit that you'd take home?  It's nickles and dimes.  If you had ten million and had a valuable piece of real's 90-percent chance it's going to be a condo building rather than affordable apartments.

The second issue is that all of these migrants and immigrants are drawn to metropolitan cities which they think is the 'promised-land' on jobs.  It's true, but then these aren't high paying jobs, and if you look at cost-of-living situations across metropolitan's a lousy landscape.

Go look in Essen or Frankfurt for a 3-bedroom to cover a couple and their three could be talking about 900 Euro (assuming you accept 100 sq meters or less) and a structure over 40 years old.
Maybe if you were 15 to 25 km outside of the Frankfurt shadow, you might find something in the 600 Euro range, but then you'd need to have a dependable car to get to work....where will that purchase money come from, and the insurance to ensure it?

This is one of the odd realities of this whole migration period of the past five years.  No one ever sat down and asked about where they'd all stay.  Oddly, at the same time....throughout rural Germany....thousands of empty houses sit.  Their problem is no jobs in the local area and too far a distance from any major city to be of any use.

On the political spectrum, this topic promises to be around for the next decade.

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