Skip to main content


Finally, there is a response from the government to the sluggishness in housing construction

With both empty office spaces and a shortage of housing, the Ministry of Construction plans to address the issue by encouraging the conversion of vacant commercial and office properties into residential units through low-interest loans totaling 120 million euros.

While this brings positive news, three fundamental questions arise:

Is the funding amount sufficient given the substantial challenges? In theory, land use changes in commercial areas are possible, but how realistic are they when this means forfeiting lucrative business tax for municipalities? How can one resolve the conflict of interest between municipalities, project developers, and investors, particularly concerning significant structural changes and their economic viability?

Real change, it is argued, will only be achievable through a well-balanced approach between “money”, “land use change”, and “easing of building regulations”. Innovative concepts are required not only for harmonizing work, living, and leisure to make commercial areas attractive for residential use but also to address investor concerns about building complexities, such as changes in ESG guidelines, fire protection, and acoustics. The responsibility lies with the government to make groundbreaking decisions for effective implementation, as money alone is not a sufficient motivator.

As architects, we are convinced that these changes hold tremendous potential. We have the responsibility to respond to societal needs and concerns and can contribute to the creation of new urban environments, identity, and dynamism through architectural conversions, ultimately leading to the development of long-term livable places.

Bundesministerium für Wohnen, Stadtentwicklung und Bauwesen:
Tempo für bezahlbares und klimafreundliches Wohnen – 5. Gewerbe zu Wohnen

Business Insider:
Plan der Bundesregierung: Aus leeren Büros und Gewerbeimmobilien sollen bis zu 235.000 neue Wohnungen entstehen


CSMM – architecture matters
Ansprechpartnerin: Nina Eisenbrand
Werk 3, Atelierstraße 14
81671 München                                  
Tel.: +49 (0)89 960 15 99-0
Fax: +49 (0)89 960 15 99-99

Share this page

Related Content