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Stop to second homes

May 31, 2022
The Swiss popular initiative "Stop the rampant construction of second homes!" limits the proportion of second homes in municipalities in order to curb urban sprawl.
Image caption:
(c) Gemeindedaten Schweiz Swisstop 2019, Hintergrundkarte OSM

In 2012, the Swiss electorate voted to restrict the construction of second homes. The Federal Act on Secondary Residences (ZWG) has been in force since 1 January 2016. Since then, all municipalities are obliged to draw up an annual inventory of dwellings. In this inventory, they must indicate the number of all flats as well as the number of main residences. Municipalities with a share of more than 20 percent of second homes are generally no longer allowed to approve any new ones. However, there are exceptions: tourist flats in structured accommodation establishments or granny flats as well as second homes in protected buildings are permitted. However, there are no comparable data on second homes, as each municipality records its housing stock differently.

More information: (de, fr, it), (de)

Fact sheet

What: Second homes, urban sprawl

Who: Popular initiative "Schluss mit uferlosem Bau von Zweitwohnungen!" (Stop the rampant construction of second homes!)

Where: Switzerland

When: 2012

Transferability: it is also possible to introduce new laws into the political agenda in other countries through popular initiatives. However, direct democracy takes different forms in the Alpine countries.


Image caption: