HOME STREET HOME – finding a home is the first step to escaping homelessness
A new home is usually an improvement: a sunny roof terrace, a larger bedroom, the long-awaited dream of an own hobby basement. But for some people a new home is so much more: it means self-determination, privacy and safety. What many take for granted is often beyond the reach of homeless people for a long time.
That’s why ImmoScout24 has joined forces with the project for homeless people ONE WARM WINTER to launch the HOME STREET HOME initiative. The goal: helping people without a roof over their heads find housing. And the need is great: an estimated 678,000 people in Germany don’t have a home of their own. Of those, more than 40,000 people live on the street, without any kind of shelter. And the number has been growing for years – partly because of a lack of social housing and due to rising rents. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the problem.
“Homelessness is a particularly stressful form of poverty and social exclusion. As the market leader in real estate, we want to help everyone put a roof over their heads. With the HOME STREET HOME collaboration, we are using our reach to provide information about homelessness and housing concepts. Because it’s not just about a lack of housing: many landlords have reservations about renting their apartments to homeless people. This is where we come in and clear things up,“ says Thomas Schroeter, Managing Director of ImmoScout24. To resolve concerns, ImmoScout24 highlights the advantages of renting to homeless people. Landlords not only empower homeless people to restart their lives, they also benefit from secure rents thanks to state social benefit entitlements, insurance cover for the properties and a fixed contact at the supporting organisation.
“As the market leader in real estate, we want to help everyone put a roof over their heads.”
HOME STREET HOME is an advocate of the “housing first” concept
In addition, ImmoScout24 automatically informs all landlords with apartments on offer in Germany or Austria about housing concepts such as Housing First, an idea that originated in the United States. First up, organisations and social workers help homeless people find suitable housing. After that step is taken, they then accompany the process of reintegrating and leading a self-determined life again. Studies show that Housing First helps up to 90% of people successfully find their way back to a self-determined life.
“First and foremost comes the basic need for a safe home. Only then is it possible to start tackling the underlying, often complex problems together with the people affected and working through their strokes of fate. In Housing First and other housing concepts, the people concerned sign their own lease. They pay the rent themselves thanks to their entitlement to transfer benefits. That way, they already have one foot back into society,” says Marija Stojanovic, director of Dojo Cares, the foundation behind the ONE WARM WINTER initiative.
In addition to extensive information on the topic of homelessness, ImmoScout24 has equipped its listing platform with a special function: private landlords are automatically asked during the process of creating a listing if they would like to participate in HOME STREET HOME and potentially rent their apartment to a homeless person. Commercial providers such as property managers or real estate companies can also participate in HOME STREET HOME: all they need to do is insert the hashtag #HomeStreetHome in the text of their listing. Organisations and associations that support Housing First and other housing approaches are then notified of the housing on offer. Interested landlords can seek advice from the organisations and decide whether the homeless applicant would be suitable as a tenant. Refugee aid organisations can also participate in HOME STREET HOME.
It was soon clear on ImmoScout24 that the cooperation was making a difference: hundreds of apartments have already been listed to be potentially rented to homeless candidates. “We are very pleased about this success. But that’s not enough. We will continue the initiative to educate people about homelessness and to help even more people find their own homes,” says Thomas Schroeter.
The HOME STREET HOME concept has also convinced numerous celebrities. To kick off the cooperation, reporter Claire Oelkers, rapper Bausa, model Stefanie Giesinger, presenters Joko Winterscheidt and Jan Köppen, as well as other celebrity influencers set out to find an apartment via Instagram. Then came the reveal: they were not looking for a new home for themselves, but for a homeless person. Once the right apartment was found, the celebrities helped the residents furnish their new home.
“With Vermietet.de we are creating a full-service, carefree package for landlords”
Vermietet.de has been part of Scout24 since May 2021. Why are the companies such a good fit? Because they have the same goal: making processes around real estate as simple as possible for everyone involved.Go to story