The first group of refugees have entered their new homes in the German town of Bielefeld. Thirteen apartments were built especially for those who are in the asylum process. The project combines new apartments with social support and its goal is to encourage integration of the refugees.
Social affairs officer, Ingo Nürnberger, commented regarding the city building apartments only for refugees, “There is clearly an envy debate,” he says. But: “Every built apartment currently relieves the housing market,” he adds.
The apartments were built by Solion, a subsidiary of the local municipality. New apartments for refugees will also be built at three other locations in Bielefeld. “We want to create not only emergency solutions, but sustainable living,” says Nürnberger.
According to Nina Schalles, of the social welfare office, refugees who live in the apartments receive support of several organisations to encourage integration.
There’s a serious housing crisis in Germany as there’s a 150 per cent rise in the number of homeless since 2014.