As in most European countries, the population in Germany’s towns and cities is growing. More and more people prefer urban life to the peace and quiet of the countryside. The result is that the rent on many new-build apartments is becoming unaffordable while demand for affordable rental homes is growing.
“In the German state of Baden Württemberg there is a demand for about 80,000 new apartments a year, yet not even half that number is actually being built,” says Managing Director Georgios Tsomidis, who considers his task a responsibility he welcomes with great motivation. “On a national level, we are talking about 400,000 homes that are needed and 250,000 that are actually built every year. We do our level best to ease the situation in Sindelfingen, and the fact that we accommodate the majority of the town’s residents speaks for itself.”
For Wohnstätten Sindelfingen – WS for short – 2017 is the year of its 90th anniversary. The company was established by the municipalities and Daimler-Benz AG in 1927. Daimler had founded its car factory in Sindelfingen in 1915 and decided to cooperate with the town in order to provide its workers with adequate accommodation.
The first 100 homes were completed in 1928. The company has been dedicated to improving the housing situation in Sindelfingen ever since – and continues to do so with a highly qualified and motivated team of specialists.
“In 2008 we bought out Daimler’s shares so that we are a communal organization now,” adds Mr. Tsomidis. With more than 4,000 rental homes in and around Sindelfingen, WS accounts for very different needs. “We aim to provide reasonable and functional accommodation for our citizens – regardless whether large families, senior citizens, disabled people or several generations are concerned,” emphasizes the company’s Managing Director. “Senior citizens, for example, may wish to move to a smaller apartment, yet they don’t want to leave the area. Floor-level showers and lifts as well as a competent house management service are other important features.”
At a current average price of 6.18 EUR per square meter, WS is able to provide affordable accommodation for families as well. “We support the creation of rental homes in a big way, but we also want to contribute to the development of property. In comparison to the rest of Europe, where up to 90% of all people have their own home, the proportion of homeowners in Germany is relatively low at 50 to 60%. So our offer includes homes for sale, too.”
On top of that, the restoration of beautiful old houses is part of the company’s responsibility towards the town and its citizens. A large proportion of the company’s takings is reinvested, which contributes to the satisfaction of WS tenants. Many of them remain faithful clients for decades.
“As a communal enterprise, we have to think of the future of the city,” sums up Mr. Tsomidis. “Even if we cannot quite satisfy the tremendous demand for accommodation yet, we will continue to invest and create more homes.”