Status: 12/08/2022 9:15 PM

For the first time, the federal government has presented a report on the situation of homeless people in Germany. This indicates that the majority are male and hold German citizenship. Almost 40 thousand people live on the streets.

About 263,000 people in Germany do not have a permanent home. This came from the first homeless report submitted by the federal government. It differentiates between three groups of homeless people: people who are housed in emergency housing assistance, hidden homeless people – those staying with friends or acquaintances – as well as people on the street and in temporary accommodation. As of January 31 this year, about 178,000 people were assigned well into the first group, 49,000 well into the second group and 37,000 well into the third group.

If dual registrations and minors living with parents are factored in, the number finally comes to about 262,600 homeless people — although the report doesn’t claim to be an overview given how difficult it is for people to register. Nearly two-thirds of the homeless (63 percent) are male, a good third (35 percent) are female and 2 percent are diverse or no information available. On average at 44 years of age, people who are homeless are significantly older than people who are homeless or in hiding at 32 or 35.

The majority hold German citizenship

The government also provided data on nationality: according to this, two-thirds of homeless people and three-quarters of homeless people in hiding have German citizenship, all the others are of foreign origin or are classified as stateless. Only 31 percent of homeless people have German citizenship. This is due to the fact that some people in refugee housing are also included if they have been living there for a longer period due to lack of living space.

Life without a permanent home is characterized by many health problems. According to the survey, more than 31 percent of homeless sheltered say their health status is “less good” or “poor,” compared with 40 percent of homeless homeless people. More than half of all respondents stated that they had suffered from a long-term illness or disability, and a quarter of them had an addiction – and among those without housing, the figure is as high as 35 percent.

Diakonie Germany called on the government to take action

Construction Minister Clara Jewitz explained that with the report, the government was now providing an “all-German overview” of the situation of those affected. “In collaboration with all relevant actors, the Federal Government will therefore develop and adopt a National Action Plan for Homelessness in the coming year,” she continued. A second report will be submitted in 2024.

According to the government, the goal is to combat and completely eliminate homelessness by 2030. Diakonie Germany reminded the Traffic Light Alliance of this project. Social director Maria Lohedi explained that if the government did not act quickly, it would fail over her allegations. Above all, there was a shortage of cheap flats and affordable apartments for families.

Director Diakonie also noted that there are more homeless people than is officially recorded. According to Wahidi, for example, recognized refugees who have to live in group housing because they can’t find an apartment are not counted. Greens member of the Bundestag Wolfgang Stringmann-Kohn welcomed the fact that for the first time reliable data on hidden homelessness was also available. It also highlighted the homelessness of migrant workers from Eastern European countries. More than half of the homeless who do not have German citizenship came from European Union countries.

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The report was created based on the Homelessness Reporting Act, which took effect in early 2020. This also provided official statistics for homeless people being accommodated by municipalities or independent service providers.