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.


Dienstleistungszentrum Integration und Demokratie (Service Center Integration and Democracy)


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.

What is new in 2023?

Since 2022, the city of Halle has been organising a new initiative called "Wohnungspatenschaft" for citizens who would like to support with the accommodation of war refugees from Ukraine. As part of this housing sponsorship, the sponsors agree to arrange the furnishing and equipping of a flat. The city itself provides the flat.

"With the flat sponsorships, we want to underline our goal of getting refugees out of the emergency accommodation and into their own homes as quickly as possible. With the furniture donations [...], the housing sponsorships can support the timely relocation of war refugees from Ukraine into their own flats." (Oliver Paulsen, head of the Service Centre (DLZ) for Integration and Democracy)

All inspiring approaches