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HomeAltersvorsorgeFaucet Turns Off for Age-Appropriate Renovations: Tough Luck for Those Wanting to...

Faucet Turns Off for Age-Appropriate Renovations: Tough Luck for Those Wanting to Upgrade Their Apartment, Except for One Exception

Phrases like this one will be a tough pill to swallow for the traffic light coalition after the ruling from Karlsruhe. Federal Minister for Building, Klara Geywitz, announced in July: “Every euro in the ‘Age-Appropriate Renovations’ program is money well invested multiple times.” 75 million euros were supposed to be allocated this year for the installation of stair lifts, low bathtubs, or other measures. Barriers in houses and apartments were to be reduced. However, the money is no longer available. The subsidies have been suspended for the time being.

More Expensive Now: Renovating the Apartment for Old Age

Older property owners who want to prepare for old age will now have to dig deeper into their pockets. The removal of barriers was agreed upon in the coalition agreement. It is a “significant political concern of the federal government,” as stated on the ministry’s website, according to the ministry. “The program has been in high demand for years, which is why we advocated for an increase in funds,” explained a spokesperson for the Federal Ministry of Building to FOCUS online. In 2023 alone, the ministry granted more than 23,000 commitments with a total volume of over 52 million euros.

Despite the high demand, the ministry had to halt the funding program. The reason for this was the funding from the Climate and Transformation Fund, parts of which were overturned by the Federal Constitutional Court. What does this mean for the subsidies? We answer the most important questions about the funding halt:

What benefits were available before?

There was a subsidy of ten percent for renovation measures up to 25,000 euros. Private builders could thus receive a maximum of 2500 euros for age-appropriate renovations. There was no age limit. Even those who were employed could invest in preparing for retirement.

What exactly is happening now?

Previously submitted applications will no longer be approved. New applications for the subsidy cannot be submitted. This is likely to be particularly frustrating for homeowners who had already budgeted for the maximum of 2500 euros and had commenced renovation. The condition for the subsidy is that the work must be completed when the application is submitted.

This is the sixth time that the funding has been suspended. In each case, the demand was too high and the funding pot was too small. Minister Geywitz therefore planned to double the funding for the next year to 150 million euros. Geywitz celebrated this as a successful negotiation by her ministry “in times of budgetary constraints.”

However, it is still unclear where the money will come from. The spokesperson did not respond to whether the Ministry of Building will stick to this in the budget negotiations for 2024, stating that “this will be decided by the budget legislator.”

What other subsidies are available for age-appropriate construction?

There are no longer direct subsidies available for private builders. The KfW Development Bank offers a grant credit (159) for age-appropriate renovations. Up to 50,000 euros are available at favorable interest rates from the government. The credit can also be used for the purchase of already renovated housing. More information can be found on the KfW Bank’s website. There is no repayment subsidy.

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