Social housing in Germany

Social housing is the state-sponsored construction of housing, especially for social groups that cannot meet their housing needs on the free housing market. In addition to the personal conditions, which the tenants in Germany must prove with the residence permit, there is a cost rent, as stipulated in the German Housing Binding Act.

As the number of available social housing units in Germany has been drastically reduced, other possibilities for an adequate housing situation for people are now additionally being used to ensure that people have adequate housing. The self-organisation of the inhabitants plays an important role, because they may have to take care of an apartment that meets all the requirements and does not exceed the amount of the financial assistance.

The Social Housing Promotion Act regulates housing construction and other measures to support households with rented housing and the creation of owner-occupied housing for households who cannot adequately provide themselves with housing on the market. In addition to the creation of affordable housing, the acquisition of owner-occupied residential property for a wide range of population is also to be promoted.

The people have the possibility to get financial help to rent an apartment. This is done by determining a maximum price and size of the apartment using various personal criteria and the appropriate laws.

In order for lower-income households to be able to cover the housing costs of adequate and family-friendly housing, they are supported by housing benefit. Housing benefit is a legal right if the legal requirements are met. The effect of the housing allowance is that the beneficiary households are not restricted to a particularly low-cost and therefore narrow market segment in the housing stock, but have access to housing at average cost. This also supports the preservation and creation of stable residential structures in the residential areas.

Housing benefit is not paid to recipients of transfer payments, since in the case of transfer benefit recipients, the accommodation costs are taken into account by the transfer benefit agency (transfer benefits are in particular unemployment benefit II, social assistance, Bafög, basic provision in old age and in the case of reduced earning capacity).

There are many requirements to get financial help. People who are not entitled to receive the benefits have to finance their lives with their available money without much help and rent a flat that does not exceed their financial possibilities.


My name is Xenia, I am from Germany and I am an Intern at the Irish Mortgage Brokers.

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