Share
Explore BrainMass

Examination of the Housing Issue in Germany and its Impact on National Politics and Policies.

Need help in researching and examining Germany's housing policy since the end of the Second World War when the country was faced with a massive housing shortfall. I need to produce a summary of the impact and changes in the housing policy--and its political impact--over the last sixty years. It must contain areas that address:

- The discussion addresses some crucial observations about the issue of political pragmatism versus ideology when it comes to informing policy decisions. The role of housing policy as a policy instrument in politics is also referenced. The influence of party politics and goals on the housing policy is discussed, as well as the policy's own feedback influence and effects--and the general political culture towards keeping homelessness minimised--on party policies and ideology.

- The discussion also examines the arguably protected and somewhat sheltered attitude surrounding Germany's housing policy and how it is usually avoided as a subject in heated debates. This examination sheds light on the underlying conflict between free market movements and the general state policy of closely regulating the housing market in order to sustain adequate and accessible housing for all citizens.

- The conclusion of the discussion, a few basic but worthwhile questions are extracted from the actual discussion and the observations that were made.

Solution Preview

A Summary of Germany's Identifiable Housing Issues and their Relation to the Wider Context Policy Instruments & Political Pragmatism

While Housing is a very serious issue on a policy front, the idea of keeping a nation housed seems to be a naturally engrained corner stone in the thinking of the German state. It might appear like a political policy instrument, but in essence, it goes well beyond being challenged or bickered over at the political level and seems to be the default position of the German state above individual party ideology. It is certainly not a divisive or hot-topic issue in the political sphere such as fiscal, social, energy and foreign policies among many others (Dye, 1976). It also seems to be both a clandestine subject matter, but also one over which there is little ideological disagreement or conflict. Perhaps the reason for this is due to Germany's war torn historical context of struggle and strife that promotes an ambitious goal for the state as a whole to achieve housing standards as a basic right and need for everyone. This also defines the broader context of the policy with regards to Germany, resonating in harmony with the typical structure of German law and how it is built around the concept of shared responsibilities (In Andersen & In Woyke, 2009).

Contextualising Germany's housing situation and the associated issues is a multifaceted venture with pragmatism at its core. Pragmatism happens to be a recurring theme in German housing policy due to the sheer dynamic nature of the housing market and social landscape and the changes they have undergone in the last fifty years. To provide the best foundation for this context, we would have to consider the very precarious situation in the immediate post-WWII Germany where over 13 million individuals were left homeless, and despite government intervention towards securing and controlling all housing to get everyone housed, they were still left with a requirement of an additional 5 million housing units (Schmidt, Wolf & Wurster, 2013).

It was only through an initial and rather aggressive initiative by the government to first take control of properties in the country, followed by the creation of over 3 million properties by the public sector and over 2 million by the private sector that allowed Germany to overcome the initial hurdle of homelessness. Ever since this development, German housing policy has undergone meaningful shifts and changes, from reduction in government housing building to an increase in property development tax cuts, to tight legislation designed to protect tenants by preventing landlords for leveraging the free market to increase rent.

A lot can be said about these changes, but what tends to stand out most through the last 50+ years of government changes and reforms, is that party ideology has played a far smaller role in housing policy than economic and social pragmatism. As a general rule, many of the competing parties have battled for tenancy rights more than landlord rights with the aim to curtail homelessness to the absolute. This has even produced recent shifts in policy attitudes and instruments towards how social housing is viewed, such as the shift from investment into social housing towards social space, thus emphasising the human component of properly keeping the individual sheltered.

Germany's Current Standing on Housing Policy
It would seem, however, that in all attempts to regulate ...

Solution Summary

This solution is comprised of a detailed explanation on how national politics and policies changed in the housing industry after the Second World War in Germany. With over 2,000 words, this solution gives a good examination on the impacts of the housing issue in the German Economy.

$2.19