Moving Cities
Inspiring Approaches

BerlinImproved access to accommodation

What is inspiring?

Berlin has taken the national lead in the field of accommodation by improving access to housing for asylum seekers. It has done so by removing bureaucratic hurdles, establishing a central contact point for landlords, and offering them financial support. Normally, Germany has a three-step system for accommodating newly arrived refugees. At first, they are housed in central shelters owned by the federal states – of which Berlin is one. Refugees are then typically housed in shared accommodation overseen by the local council. In Berlin, this second step is skipped, with the city encouraging refugees to find private accommodation.

How does it operate?

If asylum seekers find a flat, they can move in much earlier than in other federal states. On average, they are formally released from mandatory initial accommodation after three months. Another thing that sets Berlin apart from other federal states is that housing costs of up to 750 euros per person, per month, are also covered during the asylum process, in accordance with the Asylum Seeker Benefits Act. The state has also created a central contact point for landlords wishing to rent accommodation to refugees.

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