The Housing First pilot project has been a resounding success by local officials , Source: Pavel Nekoranec / Unsplash

Berlin to give housing to homeless couples and women with children

Berlin to give housing to homeless couples and women with children

The city will see its project for Housing First grow as the backbone of social care

Today, authorities in Berlin announced that they will expand the Housing First pilot project and adopt it as an official policy of the city. The revamped version will cover homeless women with dependent children and homeless couples.

Housing First is the idea of providing housing as the first step of homelessness aid. After that, the person who is receiving help from the programme would have access to a plethora of other benefits and aid schemes, from retraining programmes, education programmes, mental health counselling and etc.

According to a statement by local authorities, 95 apartments have formed part of the pilot project as of 4 October 2022. The lives of formerly homeless people have improved significantly since the start of the pilot.

Apart from having homes, participants in the project were also subject to house visits by social services, help with furnishing their apartments and running the household, as well as a variety of other flexible services.

All of that has led Katja Kipping, Senator for Integration, Labour and Social Affairs, to deem the project a success and a key strategy for Berlin’s approach to homelessness.

Homeless people with minor dependents

City officials say that they plan to keep the existing Housing First programme and gradually expand it, through coordination and additional funding. According to a press statement, the 2022 budget will rise to 2.8 million euros, while the 2023 budget will reach 3.3 million.

The city has earmarked a total of 6.1 million for both years and it also plans to expand the groups that can take part in Housing First. The new social groups include homeless couples and women with dependent children.

Senator Kipping was quoted in a press statement, pointing out that this new approach has become the new leitmotif in the city’s social administration. However, she also expressed some uncertainty, as landlords who offer the housing to the city participate on a voluntary basis.



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