Kipping wants long-term security for "Housing First" project
Berlin's senator of social affairs, Katja Kipping, insists on long-term financial security for the model project "Housing First" that helps homeless people get an apartment.
Berlin's Senator for Social Issues, Katja Kipping
Further information: Information and assistance for homeless people in Berlin
Publication date: January 06, 2022
Last updated: January 06, 2022
"Since there is still no budget for the new year, funding for the project is only secured until the end of March for now," the Left Party politician told the German Press Agency (dpa). "But under the conditions of provisional budget management, it is very difficult to successfully transition the pilot project into a permanent project."
Broad agreement on continuation of the project
"The entire coalition has a responsibility to ensure that such a project does not remain in a state of limbo for three months because of this regulation. This must be avoided," Kipping said. She stated that such functioning projects, on whose continuation there is such widespread agreement, could simply not be wrapped up because of provisional budget management issues, only to be rolled out again after a few months.
"Proceeding this way would be inefficient and more expensive in the end," Kipping said. "Aborting a project always means losing trust, which can only be regained through very hard work. A solution must be found now," she demanded. "I am determined to fight for this, kindly but resolutely." According to Kippin, the project would need about 1.3 million euros for this year.
Pilot project «Housing First» launched in 2018
The pilot project "Housing First" had been launched under Kipping's predecessor, Elke Breitenbach (Left Party), in 2018. Following the US model, the project's aim is to provide homeless people with housing. The requirements are straightforward: Interested parties must have an ID card and a certificate of eligibility for housing, receive unemployment benefits (Hartz IV) and, above all, be open and willing to accept help. According to older data, around 80 people have found a place to live through the project.
Double budget for 2022/2023 still to be approved
In the context of the election of the House of Representatives on September 26 and the change of government in Berlin, the parliament had not approved a state budget for 2022 in the previous year - although there was a draft. Although the senate administrations and other authorities can continue to operate, they can therefore no longer spend money to the same extent as before. In the course of provisional budget management, spending is only approved for projects that are considered "absolutely necessary." According to Kipping, the "Housing First" project could asuffer as a result.
The new coalition of the SPD, Green Party and Left Party has enshrined the "Housing First" pilot project as a permanent project in its government program. However, the final approval of the planned double budget for 2022/2023 and thus the legal and financial security of the project could take many more months.