Warning of shortage of cheap housing for locals

Warning of shortage of cheap housing for locals
Warning of shortage of cheap housing for locals

In the Engadin, many residents can no longer find affordable apartments, notes the “NZZ am Sonntag”. Vacation homes and second homes have been in high demand during the pandemic, driving up rental prices. A studio at 2,400 francs per month or a three and a half room apartment at 4,950 francs per month, these are the offers currently offered on the real estate platforms for Saint-Moritz (GR).

The shortage of accommodation for locals is also linked to the law on second homes. If the Lex Weber limits the number of second homes in each municipality to 20%, it does not prohibit the transformation of existing apartments into second homes. And this phenomenon is widespread in the Engadin, as in other very touristy mountain regions.

Owners prefer to sell or rent their properties as second homes rather than handing them over to residents. It’s more lucrative. However, municipalities are starting to react. St. Moritz wants to invest in the construction of public housing. “Around 150 inexpensive apartments explicitly intended for locals could be built in the coming years,” assures the mayor, Christian Jott Jenny.

St. Moritz is not the only municipality in the Engadine to encourage the construction of housing for residents. According to a calculation by the “Engadiner Post”, 140 new apartments were built or approved last year. Within one to three years, 400 additional housing units could be added, and even 660 in the medium and long term. A real little boom in affordable housing.

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