In Emsdetten, a town with about 36.ooo inhabitants, people have the opportunity to apply for living in subsidized housing. But how does it work, how do people apply for it and under which conditions do people have to live to make use of it? To make use of subsidized housing people need a certificate of eligibility for a council flat (in German: Wohnberechtigungsschein). To get this certificate, people have to meet several conditions. In a single household the net income must not exceed 1.800€. When two people live together their net income combined has to be under 2.700€. When parents live with one child the net income including child benefit must not exceed 3.340€. The more children a family has, the higher the number becomes. Not only families or people of a certain age can apply for the certificate. Pensioners whose income is too low, young people who study or are trainees, disabled people and single parents are able to apply for the certificate as well. That means that not only people that do not earn enough money can apply for it, people that cannot earn enough money because they are in university or are disabled can apply for it as well. Where can I apply for it? In the city hall of every town people can apply for the certificate. To apply for it, certain documents have to be given to the authorities. These documents are proof of income over the last twelve months, document certifying enrollment for children over 16 years, your passport or ID and in case there is one a disabled person’s pass. It can take to four weeks until the certificate of eligibility for a council flat will be given to the person that has applied for it. The application itself does not cost anything, but the application of several documents could cost money. Are there more conditions people have to meet to live in subsidized housing except the certificate? Yes, there are. The permanent residence has to be in Germany or there has to be a valid residence permit for at least one year and the minimum age to apply for living in subsidized housing is 18 years old.
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