Skip to comments.Asylum Seekers Embrace Alternative Housing (Germany)
Posted on 09/01/2013 5:29:38 PM PDT by Lorianne
Leverkusen has been trying out the model of decentralized housing for 11 years. When the program began, the existing shelters were dilapidated, and plans for a new shelter had to be shelved, partly because of local protests. This led the city to decide to place at least individual families in private apartments. Today, 200 refugees live in apartments in Leverkusen. The city pays the rents, which cannot exceed 256 per person, not including expenses. The Catholic charity association Caritas and the refugee council help them find apartments.
According to calculations by Frank Stein, the head of the city's social services department who spearheaded the project, the model is also easier on the city budget. Over the years, says Stein, Leverkusen has saved more than 1 million, because it no longer has to pay the costs of personnel and renovating the shelters.
Berlin too has shown a recent interest in housing more refugees in apartments instead of shelter. Franz Allert, head of the Berlin city-state authority responsible for asylum seekers, says that increasing the share of refugees housed in flats is "a stated goal" of his organization. Some 800 asylum seekers are currently housed in apartments in Berlin.
Most refugees in Leverkusen feel positive about the project, although some initially find it difficult to cope with suddenly having to fend for themselves. In addition, says Stein, it is difficult to find low-rent apartments in cities with housing shortages. Nevertheless, not a single refugee has returned to a shelter in the last 11 years.
(Excerpt) Read more at spiegel.de ...
Must be running out of space for Muzzies in Koeln.