In Brief: Senator for Urban Development and Housing faces criticism over a proposed rent cap after information leak

Senator for Urban Development and Housing Katrin Lompscher is facing criticism over a proposed rent cap after potential new details were leaked to the public. Find out about this, and upcoming S-Bahn disruptions in your KCRW Berlin News Brief

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During a public meeting on Monday, Senator for Urban Development and Housing Katrin Lompscher faced criticism over new details for a cap on rent prices across Berlin.

According to a draft proposal that was leaked to the public over the weekend, Lopscher’s office recommends that apartments built before 2013 not be allowed to cost more than 8 euros per square meter in the future. Lompscher wouldn’t comment directly on the leaked document.

Groups in the housing industry, as well as representatives of the FDP and the CDU have voiced opposition to the draft.

CDU spokesperson on housing policy, Christian Gräff, said setting rent limits, which depend on the age of the house and not on the area or quality of the home goes against social norms.

He said expecting someone living in a beautifully renovated apartment in Charlottenburg to pay less rent than someone in a prefabricated “Plattenbau” building in Marzahn is “unserious.”

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The SPD leadership is discussing the reintroduction of the wealth tax. The tax has not been collected since 1997.

Provisional SPD party leader Thorsten Schäfer-Gümbel said the funds should be used for needed investments in infrastructure, affordable housing and climate protection.

According to the SPD, the wealth tax could bring up to ten billion euros in revenue annually to Berlin’s budget.

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A construction project is set to tear a gap in the S-Bahn network over the next several weeks. East and northeast sections of the transit line will be most affected.

The S75 line will be temporarily shut down between Wartenberg and Ostbahnhof until the beginning of October, serviced instead by a replacement bus service. In October, the temporary shutdowns will be extended on to lines 5, 7 and 75 for an additional six weeks.

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The Frankfurt am Main Higher Regional Court has ruled that four former German Football Association (DFB) officials may now be charged with tax evasion.

The Court decided on Monday that there is sufficient suspicion against the men, including former presidents Theo Zwanziger and Wolfgang Niersbach, ex-DFB official Horst Schmidt and former FIFA official Urs Linsi.

The four are said to have committed, or at least helped to commit tax evasion. The cases involved payments of millions in bribes for the 2006 World Cup.
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