They are not yet available in official statistics, but current estimates show that the number of homeless people in Germany is increasing. In 2018, 678,000 people were without housing, 4.2 percent more than the year before, as the newspapers of the Funke media group citing the Federal Working Community (BAG) report homelessness. In 2017, the number of people without a flat was still 650,000. According to the report, in 2018 about 41,000 people lived on the street without any accommodation.
Homelessness has become increasingly a problem for refugees in particular: The number of homeless people without an escape background has risen by 1.2 percent less than the number of homeless recognized refugees with 5.9 percent, said the managing director of the BAG homelessness assistance, Werena Rosenke.
According to the BAG Wohnungslosenhilfe, around 70 percent of homeless people without a refugee background were single persons in 2018, and 30 percent lived together with partners and / or children. The number of children and minor adolescents was estimated to be eight percent.
As the main reasons for the increasing number of homeless people Rosenke called the insufficient supply of affordable housing that the social housing stock shrinks and poverty solidifies. "In particular, there is a lack of affordable housing for people in the low-income sector, for people receiving transfer payments, and for recognized refugees."
Single parents and young adults are particularly vulnerable groups. But also the impending poverty of the generation of cheap jobbers, solo self-employed and other precariously employed people is worrying, said Rosenke.
So far, there is no official statistics on homelessness. But that should change. A recently passed law provides for the introduction of homeless reporting as well as statistics on housed homeless people. Thus, according to the Ministry of Labor, a nationwide data base on the extent and structure of homelessness in Germany is created for the first time.
Statistics should enable help
The bill stipulates that the Federal Statistical Office will record the number of homeless people who have been accommodated as of the 31 January deadline – that is, homeless persons claiming accommodation. It should include information on gender, age, nationality, household type and size, type of accommodation and the date of commencement of accommodation. For the first time, the new federal statistics are planned for January 31, 2022.
The data should also be used to develop social policies against homelessness.