In Brief: Number of people without housing rose across Germany in 2018

One reason for the increase is the scarcity of housing, particularly social housing. Former director of the Federation of Organizations Working with the Homeless, Thomas Specht, told KCRW Berlin that Germany loses more units of social housing per year than it builds.



The number of people without housing across Germany increased in 2018.

Germany’s homeless population has increased by more than 4% over numbers from the previous year. The Federation of Organizations Working with the Homeless, or Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Wohnungslosenhilfe e.V. (BAG W ), reports that nearly 680,000 people were without housing last year.

Thomas Specht, former director of the association, said the primary reason is the scarcity of housing, particularly social housing, in Germany.

“We had once 4.1 million social housing (units), and at the moment it’s 1.1 million,” Specht said. “We lose about 80,000 units a year and we build new social housing at a rate of 30,000 a year so which doesn’t compete with the loss of social housing that we have every year.”

Specht said he wants to see more investments into social housing, specifically the construct of 360,000 units a year.

The report breaks down the numbers of homeless people in Germany in several ways, also looking at refugees and EU citizens. Of those living without accommodation, excluding refugees, about 30% are adults with partners and/or children, while the remaining 70% are single.

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