Housing allowances in Germany

Stefan Kofner

in Housing allowances in comparative perspective

Published by Policy Press

Published in print July 2007 | ISBN: 9781861347541
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302506 | DOI:
Housing allowances in Germany

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Housing allowances (Wohngeld in German) come into play whenever income is insufficient to enable the household to obtain accommodation that meets a minimum housing standard. As a tied income transfer, it is an incentive towards a higher individual housing consumption. Housing allowances are widely seen in Germany as a relatively market-conforming instrument of social policy with the ability to act as a substitute for an important part of the social housing programme. This chapter presents a brief history of Wohngeld. It then discusses the calculation of entitlement to Wohngeld, allowances for homeowners, housing assistance for social security benefit recipients, and the impact of housing allowances. This is followed by a review of policy debates and reform.

Keywords: housing assistance; housing policy; Wohngeld; social housing programmes

Chapter.  13163 words.  Illustrated.

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