Child benefit reaches young families with low incomes


by Theresa Münch, dpa

dpa Berlin. 12,000 euros or more – many house builders have already planned the child benefit. But do the right families really benefit? The Ministry of the Interior has evaluated the first numbers.

Contrary to what has often been criticized, the construction child benefit actually reaches many families with low incomes and small children. Fotol: Bernd Wüstneck Photo: Bernd Wüstneck

So far, more than 112,000 families want to realize their dream of owning their own home with child benefit. Contrary to what has often been criticized, state funding actually reaches many families with low incomes and small children.

This shows an evaluation of the Ministry of the Interior, which is available to the German Press Agency. Around 43,000 families have already received the first money or a payment confirmation by the end of June. The responsible KfW banking group is still processing the traffic jam.

The child benefit is similar to the previous home owner allowance. Since last year, a government subsidy of 1200 euros per child has been waving over ten years for the construction of a house or the purchase of real estate – a total of 12,000 euros. With more children, there is correspondingly more money. The last application for child benefit can be made if a building permit is issued on December 31, 2020 or if a purchase contract is signed.

The subsidy is granted for families and single parents up to a limit of EUR 90,000 in taxable household income per year for one child. The limit is higher for larger families. You have to live with the children in the house or apartment yourself – in addition, you cannot buy the property from direct relatives such as parents or grandparents and the grant can only be applied for once.

The federal government has provided funding of almost ten billion euros over three years – making child benefit one of the largest projects of the grand coalition of the Union and the SPD to help families fulfill their dream of owning their own four walls. According to figures from the KfW banking group, around 2.33 billion euros had already been planned by the end of June.

If the money has been used up, the federal government will not follow up according to previous plans. Instead, the so-called greyhound principle applies: whoever applies for funding first, gets also money first. If the pot is empty, the rest of the applicants go empty-handed.

Applications can be submitted online via the KfW grant portal. Documents such as income tax notices, registration certificates and land register extracts can now also be uploaded there. According to KfW, most applications have so far come from North Rhine-Westphalia (24 719, as of June 30), from Baden-Württemberg (15 097) and from Bavaria (14 768) – the fewest from the city-states of Hamburg, Berlin and Bremen as well from the Saarland.

According to the Interior Ministry, many of the 43,000 families who have already received money are on low incomes. Around 60 percent of previous child benefit recipients would have a maximum household income of EUR 40,000 before taxes, and around 40 percent would not have more than EUR 30,000. In addition, the support primarily reaches young families with small children. Every third family has children under two years of age, two thirds of the families have preschool children.

This refutes allegations by the opposition and associations that child benefit is actually helping the wrong people. The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) had also criticized that the funding would mainly benefit families who could afford to build or buy a house anyway. Households from the upper income groups benefited particularly strongly from this.

“The child benefit was raised small and middle income. And it was exactly such families who took it, ”emphasized Bau State Secretary Anne Katrin Bohle (independent). She also doesn’t think it’s problematic if with it not only newly built, but property was bought from the inventory. "That makes people more independent, especially in tight markets."

From the perspective of the real estate industry, however, the child benefit makes houses, apartments and land more expensive. In many cases, the seller added the premium to the sales price, the Central Real Estate Committee warned at the beginning of the year.

Kai Warnecke, President of the House Owners Association & Reason said the majority of the money goes to existing real estate. "So far, this has been used to promote the acquisition of property, but not housing construction." Claus Deese, Managing Director of the Tenant Protection Association, sees it similarly: "The real aim, namely to combat housing problems in the big cities, cannot be achieved with it." Instead, the transfer of rent can – The prices for housing continue to rise in condominiums.


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