This week, Leipzig became the 10th city to pledge to the European Pillar of Social Rights. Deputy Mayor Thomas Fabian signed a strong commitment to principle 19 on housing and assistance for homeless.
Leipzig has grown by over 50,000 people in the past five years, which led to a tighter housing market with the vacancy rate down to 2%. To address this challenge, Leipzig adopted in 2018 a new municipal plan for emergency housing.
For the next two years, Leipzig will increase its budget to €10 million annually for city services in the prevention of evictions and homelessness, emergency housing and follow-up support, including:
- expansion of the 6 emergency shelters (4 night-time and 2 day-time shelters with additional shelters in winter) and 6 group homes (for people living individually)
- introduction of a social ambulance (vehicle for emergency services to homeless)
- incentives to property owners to rent out to households in difficulty of finding housing
- secure additional rent-controlled apartments for use by the city
- strengthen support through counselling, paying for outstanding rent or energy bills, and offering temporary apartments to evicted families
Deputy Mayor Thomas Fabian said: "Social policy in Europe has to protect the most vulnerable. This is especially true when it comes to housing. In Leipzig, we aim to ensure that everyone living in our city has shelter and the chance to find decent housing to maintain social stability and cohesion".
Congratulations to Leipzig for the strong commitment to a more inclusive and cohesive Europe!
Read the full pledge below.