Economics Minister Doris Leuthard says the treaty with the European Union on the free movement of people has led to increased pressure on the housing market.
Speaking on Saturday in St Gallen at the annual meeting of the Swiss Housing Association, she noted that the urban areas of Zurich, Basel, Geneva and Lausanne had been particularly affected by above average rent increases.
Leuthard said these areas were also suffering from a lack of apartments with low rents. She also pointed out that a growing number of households were spending more than a quarter of their incomes on rents.
She called for more incentives for housing construction, including more land to be made available and less complicated regulations.
However, Leuthard said housing policy should not solely be an issue of quantity. It should also include the integration of different population groups, demographics and the use of alternative energy means.
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