Zug debates plan to restrict expats' access to affordable housing

Zug debates plan to restrict expats' access to affordable housing

In a bid to help local residents cope with rising rental costs, members of the city council of Zug have put forward a motion that would see affordable housing restricted to those who have lived in the area for a significant part of their lives. The postulate argued that holders of residence permits and newcomers from other cantons and abroad should be “secondary considerations.”

Zug debates residence-based affordable housing restrictions

According to 20 Minuten, the motion arose after local citizens voted to approve the "2.000 apartments for Zug" plan back in June 2023. With the success of the referendum, the city council (Gemeinde) is now compelled to build 2.000 affordable apartments by 2040.

Now, members of the Centre Party have submitted a proposal that would see these affordable homes reserved for long-term residents of the city. In the motion, they called for the homes to only be available to those who could prove that they live or have lived in the city of Zug for over a third of their lives. “Potential applicants from other municipalities, cantons and abroad should only be considered as a secondary consideration,” the motion added.

Restrict expat access to avoid exodus of locals, Centre Party asserts

Christoph Iten, city parliament group leader for the Centre Party in Zug, told 20 Minuten that “we would like to ensure that the people of Zug do not have to move away because they are being pushed out of the housing market.” He added that their proposal should be seen as a model for other Swiss cities and cantons whose citizens are considering relocating because of high prices.

The motion comes soon after Canton Zug was named as having the joint-fewest number of homes available in Switzerland. Speaking to 20 Minuten, Wüest Partner real estate expert Robery Weinert added that there were 2.300 people looking for a house or apartment to rent in or around Zug last May, but only 44 homes were available in total. 

Proposal comes as rental costs in Zug soar

A recent report by Comparis also found that the cost of a 4,5 room apartment in Zug is now between 2.900 and 9.900 francs a month. The comparison website also discovered that studio homes in Zug sized between 15 and 26 metres squared are now being let for between 2.644 and 3.101 francs a month.

While the proposal has gained significant traction within the Centre Party, it is unclear how much support it has with other parties in the council. The proposal was submitted on September 3 and has now been passed without comment to the city parliament for debate.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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