NORD PROJECT lays the foundation stone for 21 funded flats and four residential units to be operated by AWO (a social welfare organisation) for elderly and needy people in Kerpen, a town in North Rhine-Westphalia

A total of 45 residential units / Financial support from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia enables long-term low rents from 5.75 euros per square metre / Completion in autumn 2019 / Mixed concept offers suitable dwellings for families, singles, the elderly and people in need of help / Concept for a vibrant neighbourhood / Favourable location with good infrastructure and fast transport links to Cologne

With today's laying of the foundation stone, the Hamburg-based project developer NORD PROJECT starts a subsidised housing project in Kerpen-Horrem near Cologne. By the autumn of next year, 44 apartments will be built; 21 dwellings in the town's Bahnhofstrasse on the one hand, and four residential groups on the other, in which 24 older or disabled Kerpen residents can live. The residential groups are operated by the Arbeiterwohlfahrt (AWO), a social welfare organisation, through its associations "Häusliche Pflege AWO Erft-Kreis" (domestic care) and "AWO BEWO gGmbH", a charitable limited company. "In Kerpen-Horrem, as in most other economically strong regions, there is a considerable demand for reasonably priced housing. That is why this real estate concept fits in very well with this central location near the S-Bahn station," underlines Gerrit M. Ernst, Managing Director of NORD PROJECT: "The property is only 20 kilometres from Cologne's city centre. With the S-Bahn, the city railway, you can reach Cologne Cathedral in 17 minutes".


Every second household is entitled to a subsidised home

The 21 housing units are sized between 41 and 128 square metres. "This provides an opportunity for a wide variety of user groups," explains project manager Robert Zimmermann: "Families, couples and singles can all live there. It will allow a good mix and a vibrant quarter for years to come". This is also helped by the fact that the ground floor apartments will have access to individual small gardens. In addition, a children's playground will be built on the rear side, behind the 16 car parking spaces, on an elevated tableau.

NORD PROJECT and GBI AG, belonging to the Moses Mendelssohn Foundation Group of Companies, are currently implementing several sponsored housing projects in Hamburg, in Bavaria, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. Currently, around half of all households in Germany are entitled to a subsidised home. NORD PROJECT Managing Director Gerrit M. Ernst: "In face of rising rents, subsidised housing projects are an important cornerstone of comfortable, modern living for many citizens. Project manager Zimmermann points out further advantages: "There is a well-developed infrastructure in place with several retail shops, a pharmacy, restaurants and a financial institution at the location directly next to the S-Bahn station." Architect and general planner of the project is hmp ARCHITEKTEN from Cologne.

In the residential building in the town of Kerpen-Horrem, the group apartments operated by the AWO subsidiaries are accommodated on two of the five floors. The apartments are designed for handicapped and elderly citizens who require home care. "We are very glad about the cooperation with NORD PROJECT," says Wolfgang Schilling, Managing Director and an authorised signatory of the two AWO subsidiaries. Mr Schilling is certain that with so many different residents, the property would become a positive integration example for the town. The mayor of Kerpen, Dieter Spürck, also underlines the urgency of the project: "As a town in the booming catchment area of Cologne, there is already now a high demand for affordable living space. Therefore I am most grateful for the commitment of GBI and NORD PROJECT in their exemplary cooperation with AWO".


Favourable loans and grants

To facilitate favourable rents at the new location, the state-owned NRW.Bank provides financial support for the construction in the form of favourable loans. NORD PROJECT Managing Director Gerrit M. Ernst explains this as follows: "The support package ensures that rents are set between 5.75 and 6.65 euros per square metre and that future rises are limited to a maximum of 1.5 per cent per year. Because the state subsidy in our financing package is fixed for a total of 20 years, interest costs and rental income can be reliably calculated. Projects like the one in Kerpen therefore constitute a sustainable investment and are suitable for our and other foundations and investors geared to sustainability".

Mayor Spürck hopes that his town will remain in the focus of future projects. "I assume that this trend will continue and that the town of Kerpen will keep growing. Against this background, I would like to step up cooperation with private investors within in the paramount responsibility of social housing so that the town can continue to present itself as an attractive place to settle.”