The municipality is building. Residential construction in Vienna 1920 – 202011.02-29.05.2022
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In the late 19th and early 20th century, Vienna was characterized by an incredible shortage of accommodation. In particular the working class had to live in the most cramped quarters. Every floor had only one water tap, the people had to share just one toilet. The high rent was covered by taking in bed tenants who would use the sleeping places for an hourly fee.
Characterized by these experiences, the social-democratic city government first elected after World War I set out to clearly improve the residential situation. Since then Vienna constantly – only interrupted by fascism and World War II – tried to improve its system of affordable housing. Not surprising that nowadays the 100 year lasting Viennese tradition of residential construction is recognized as a success around the world. There is no other city in Europe that has such a continuity of social housing policy and never gave it up when the spirit of the times required neoliberalism and privatization.
Today, more than 50 percent of all Viennese live in subsidized apartments – either in one of the 220,000 social housing apartments or in one of the 200,000 cooperative apartments built with city subsidies.
The benefits of Vienna´s model of affordable housing contribute to Vienna being continually voted the city with the highest quality of life in the world. The City of Vienna is convinced that it is better to proactively spend money on affordable housing rather than reactively spending money dealing with the symptoms of extreme social inequality.
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