Austria's City of Innsbruck announces rental control system

The Local Austria
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Austria's City of Innsbruck announces rental control system
(Photo by Niklas Jeromin / Pexels)

The Innsbruck City Senate decided on Thursday to introduce its own rent brake in an effort to fight the housing crisis in the Tyrolean capital. Here's what you need to know.

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After an agreement on an Austria-wide rent brake for guideline rents failed in the federal government, the Innsbruck city senate decided to apply it to apartments owned by Innsbruck's real estate company (IIG), according to a government press release. 

The Tyrolean capital followed the model of the city of Graz after the federal government had opted for housing cost assistance as a one-off payment instead of the rent brake.

In Innsbruck, the rent is set to increase by two percent per year, the City said. The first increase will occur on May 1st, 2023, and the city will partially compensate IIG for the resulting revenue shortfall. In total, the IIG will receive a subsidy of €615,000, with one-third of the sum paid out to the city-owned IIG in 2023, 2024, and 2025, according to an ORF Tirol report.

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The motion was passed by a resolution in the City Senate, with the support of the Greens, FPÖ, and SPÖ. However, a further resolution in the municipal council is still pending. 

"In the absence of a nationwide solution, we are taking the path followed by other Austrian cities and intervening where we can - in our case, with the affected apartments of IIG," said Innsbruck Mayor Georg Willi (Greens).


What was the federal solution?

The Austrian government debated a rent brake for several months, but they ultimately decided to replace it with a one-off payment after coalition partners failed to agree on the details. 

Instead of capping rental increases, the centre-right ÖVP and left-leaning Greens announced a €250 million boost in housing aid for Austrian households. The agreement was revealed last month, just before benchmark rents were due to increase, which are rents in older buildings regulated by the government and based on the inflation rate.

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Social Minister Johannes Rauch of the Greens and ÖVP club leader August Wöginger presented the new plan, as reported by The Local. Rauch stated that the housing allowance is a one-time payment that must be actively applied. Wöginger said that households that qualify for it would receive an average of around €200 and approximately one million low-income households would be eligible to receive it.

The income limits for eligibility are determined by the federal states, which also pay out housing cost subsidies, the government said.



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