Our Members in Austria

Wiener Wohnen - social housing in Austria
Wiener Wohnen
2 Rosa-Fischer Gasse – 1030 Vienna, Austria

Social housing in Austria

What is social housing in Austria?

In Austria, there is no official definition of social housing. However, there are different forms of housing provision “beyond” the market. Municipal housing (or public housing) is rental housing provided by municipalities. Limited profit housing is rental and owner-occupied housing provided on a non-profit basis by investors, which are regulated by the Non-Profit-Housing-Act and have access to public subsidies (Limited Profit Housing Associations). The Federal Provinces provide funding through the housing promotion schemes. These define the type of housing and providers which can access funding as well as rent limits and income limits for (future) residents. (Credit: The Housing Europe Review)

How is it financed?

Austria has a very structured system for financing provision of social housing. It combines long-term public loans, which are based on an earmarked part of the income tax (about 0.5% of employers and employees), at favourable conditions and grants defined at the level of federal provinces, with commercial loans raised via HCC Bonds and developer/tenant equity. In addition, promotion of social housing is supported by municipal land policy.

Rents are calculated on the basis of costs combined with rent limitation defined by the subsidy schemes. A typical project comprises the following elements of finance: 20-60%: conditional subsidies (grants, low cost loans) with limits to keep construction and financing costs down; 5-15%: equity of developer; 0-15%: equity of future tenants (right to buy in some circumstances); 50-70%: commercial loans today financed by commercial bonds and via Housing Banks, which refinance by housing construction convertible bonds (HCCB) with very favourable conditions. (Credit: The Housing Europe Review)

Who can access social housing?

All providers must apply income limits defined by the different Promotion Schemes of the federal provinces. In addition. limited-Profit Providers have to apply additional social criteria determining priority in the allocation of dwellings. Furthermore, Federal Provinces as well as public owners of housing companies can claim a certain number of dwellings to allocate them themselves. (Credit: The Housing Europe Review)

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