Moving Cities
Inspiring Approaches

Halle (Saale)“Integration flats” – A model for housing integration

What is inspiring

Since 2016, the city of Halle has followed a phased model for housing refugees, meaning refugees can move into their own homes more quickly than in other cities. Initially, they are housed in shared accommodation. The city has also made an arrangement with local housing associations to rent out around 700 apartments as so-called “Integrationswohnungen” (“integration flats”). The city then rents these out to refugees on the basis of sub-tenancy agreements. Once they have been granted official refugee status, refugees can then take over the tenancy agreements.

Who initiated the project? How?

In Saxony-Anhalt, it is up to the various regional and urban districts to decide whether to provide refugees private housing or to accommodate them in shared housing. As a rule, however, German asylum law stipulates that asylum seekers are to be housed in shared accommodation. This notwithstanding, the receiving municipalities still have some room for manoeuvre – particularly on humanitarian grounds – when it comes to the accommodation they can provide. Since the housing market in Halle is relatively relaxed, the city was able to start the “integration flats” model to accelerate access to individual accommodation for refugees. By the beginning of 2017, 44% of asylum seekers with pending asylum cases in Halle were already integrated into the regular housing market.

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