Why are most of the people homeless

In Germany, an estimated 650,000 people do not have their own home. This was the result of estimates by the Federal Homeless Aid Association (BAGW) for 2017. Most of them live in emergency shelters, said a spokesman for the BAGW. 48,000 of them are homeless, i.e. without a roof over their heads.

There are no more recent figures than those from 2017, as the estimates are based on a survey by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia from 2017. There has not yet been a nationwide census, the BAGW figures are an extrapolation.

The homeless included 375,000 recognized asylum seekers and refugees in refugee accommodation and initial reception facilities in the federal states. If you take the refugees from the census, according to the report, there were a good 275,000 people without a home in Germany in 2017. The working group estimates the number of children and young people among these homeless people at eight percent; in 2017 there were 22,000 young people across Germany. Most of those affected are men, a quarter women.

Among the 48,000 or so homeless people who did not live in a residential accommodation run by the state but slept on the street, many were from other EU countries, especially from Eastern Europe. The "street homelessness" is strongly influenced by immigration from EU countries to Germany, writes the BAGW in its analysis.

80,000 to 100,000 new social housing are needed every year

In the fight against housing and homelessness, a certain proportion of socially bound housing must be expressly made available for the homeless, demands Werena Rosenke, managing director of the BAGW. "80,000 to 100,000 new social housing and a further 100,000 affordable apartments are needed every year," writes the association in an assessment of the current figures.

According to the Institute of the German Economy (IW), 287,000 apartments were completed nationwide in 2018. However, there is a serious shortage of housing in large cities, while in smaller cities and in rural areas there is vacancy and oversupply.

The Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Companies GdW recently pointed out that only half of the demand for new buildings could be met nationwide for inexpensive rental apartments and even less for social housing.