Analysis of the “Affordable Housing in Köniz” initiative and submission of a counterproposal

Residents of Köniz have gathered together to demand more affordable housing in Köniz. In response, the Köniz Municipal Council commissioned
EBP to complete an analysis of the housing market in Köniz and draft a counterproposal.

After gathering 2,267 signatures, the proponents of the “Affordable Housing in Köniz” initiative submitted a ballot measure to the Municipal Council in November 2015. The reason for the initiative is the perception on the part of many residents that the housing market in Köniz has become prohibitively expensive, with an ever larger percentage of the household budget going towards the cost of housing. The proponents of the initiative have therefore demanded an amendment to the municipal development plan so as to provide for specific measures to promote the availability of affordable rented housing.

EBP was commissioned by the Municipality of Köniz to analyze the housing market in Köniz and the likely impact of the affordable-housing initiative should it gain passage. The Bern-based law firm ecoptima provided additional legal expertise.

Based on the analysis submitted by EBP, the Municipal Council decided that while there is a need for action, the ballot measure itself lacked a degree of clarity. It therefore proceeded to commission EBP to help it draft a counterproposal.

In December 2016, the Municipal Government rejected the affordable-housing initiative and approved the counterproposal submitted by the Municipal Council, whereupon the proponents of the initiative withdrew their proposal. The residents of Köniz later approved the Municipal Council’s counterproposal by a majority of 57% on February 14, 2017. The approved plan is therefore likely to be included in the current revision of the municipal development plan.

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