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Wohndrehscheibe (Unofficial translation)

Geographic Area

Austria

City

Vienna, Austria

Language

English

Type of Information

Case studies

Organisation

Volkshilfe Wien (People’s Aid Vienna)

Contact Person

Alexandra Adam (Login to send email)

Contact Person Function

Project manager

Project Start

01/01/1997

Ongoing Project

No

Summary

The aim of the project is to offer advice, guidance and care to people with low income and very specific social problems in search of adequate housing (mainly due to communication barriers or lack of resources). Advice efforts are directed at finding permanent, affordable and acceptable housing solutions on the private market.

Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption

For people not entitled to council housing or co-operative flats, private housing remains the only option. Persons with low income, however, often have particular difficulties in finding adequate private accommodation due to lack of resources (funds, information) or due to communication barriers. In addition, people with migration background frequently face racism and discrimination on part of the landlords or neighbours.

Wohndrehscheibe is the only organisation in Vienna specialised in assisting people in search of private housing. Advice efforts aim at finding long-term, affordable and acceptable housing solutions. Accessible adequate housing has profound social consequences, particularly regarding the link between housing and employment. Therefore, sustainable housing solutions are considered as an important contribution to integration.

How does it work

Wohndrehscheibe offers direct support in two specific areas: information deficit and language problems.

In fact the entire aspect of preparing and passing on knowledge (i.e. informing on opportunities and rights as well as providing specific know-how for house seeking) is considered a highly effective element for empowering our clients. Those requiring little support can quickly acquire the basics necessary to seek housing on their own and walk confidently on difficult ground, knowing that Wohndrehscheibe is backing them as needed. For those with insufficient funds of their own, social workers offer support in generating the necessary resources (governmental aids for low-income households).

Results

Wohndrehscheibe annually carries out 5500 advice and information interviews for approx. 1500 households. Since 2007, approx. 1000 families and single persons registered with Wohndrehscheibe have rented a private apartment. (It is assumed that much more clients have found a flat, however, they did not give feedback on it.) 

One of Wohndrehscheibe’s major achievements is to have established a central advice point for people having problems in finding suitable apartments in Vienna. “Wohndrehscheibe” was recognised as a best practice by UN-HABITAT in 2004.

Evaluation

All Clients are asked to submit feedback on the results of house seeking process (via brief phone interviews). Wohndrehscheibe receives feedback from approx. 60% of their clients. People’s Aid Austria regularly submits reports including quantitative and qualitative results to the funding bodies.

Who will benefit?

Persons with low income in Vienna, who face particular difficulties in finding adequate private accommodation due to lack of resources (funds, information) or communication barriers. Approx. 70% of the clients have migration background. 

Source of funding and Resources used

Funded by “Wohnservice Wien Gmbh” and “Fonds Soziales Wien” (municipality of Vienna).