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ERST WOHNEN: Housing platform for a rapid integration of homeless people according to the “housing first” concept in Vienna

Vienna, AustriaVienna
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

ERST WOHNEN is a new model of a housing agency. Its aim is to acquire, provide and manage enough affordable flats for homeless people in Vienna. Due to the concept of “housing first”, the clients also receives social support. The company s Bausparkasse acts as a key figure in connecting to the residential industry and supports the project in further areas with an own volunteer project.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Housing is a basic need. Currently, 18 % of the population is struggeling with the cost of living. In case of an unforeseable event (f.e. loss of work, illness, divorce) this group of people is in the likely danger of being without shelter. Each year about 4.000 people in Vienna are losing their flat via eviction note. About 10.000 people are dependent on the offer of homeless support. In Vienna there are different facilities for homeless people, but in most cases the offer of accomodation within the insitutions is limited in time. Housing first, as a new and innovative support approach, works with the immediate returning in an own, tenancy law-secured living without stigmatization that provides social support within the own four walls.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The aim is to sustainably integrate homeless people again into their own flat. The first step is the direct access to an own and permanent living together with demand-oriented support within the own flat. The biggest challenge is the access to affordable rented flats. The process of renting and the further cooperation is governed by common processes and regular exchange with the cooperation partner. The company s Bausparkasse (as a specialized financial institution for affordable housing) acts as connector to project partners in the housing industry. Within the framework of the common volunteering project, s Bausparkasse is also partner in the areas of communication, fundraising and assisting with necessary support when moving.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Implementation of the project within s Bausparkasse: -Acquisition of flats: contact decision makers from residential developers/ donators in order to gain flats – mainly realised by directors, sales departements of s Bausparkasse etc. -Fundraising: management of campaigns like the running-event “Volkslaufcup” -Organisation: interface between s Bausparkasse–ERST WOHNEN–neunerhaus -Communication: creating information for donators/ press; inform employees of s Bausparkasse via internal media -Management of moving in: assitance when moving, organisation of furniture etc. currently: contracts with 12 companies in the housing area & a contingent of 50 flats

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

In order to secure sustainable success the acquisition of flats and the assistance as well as commitment of cooperation partners is crucial. New residential projects shall be covered at a best possible rate and the efforts of aquisition in the area of commercial and private housing area intensivied. With this, the contingent of available flats for ERST WOHNEN shall be expanded. In the area of existing partnership, the connections will be intensified in such a way, that ERST WOHNEN will be considered/bear in mind, when planning new housing projects. There is an ongoing effort to find further cooperation partners within the area of housing developers as well as cooperations with individual investors. Within neunerhaus, a new 25-hours-per-week-position will be created. This person will be intensively working on the aquisition of flats and the customer liason/support of housing developers.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The difference of ERST WOHNEN lies basically in the immediate allocation of an own flat (independant/own agreement) as well as the consideration of the needs and wishes of the future tenants. Therewith, the duration of stay in a flat will be enhanced/permanent. Another differenciation lies within the cooperation with s Bausparkasse as well as the therewith access to connections to the divers housing developers. Last but not least, the relationship between employees of neunerhaus and s Bausparkasse shall be mentioned. This makes this coopeation unique. Ongoing activities and projects such as the christmas-presents support the direct contact between employees of s Bausparkasse and the clients of neunerhaus. Therewith the understanding for the circumstances and needs of the persons concerned is continously deepened.


The cooperation started with establishing project groups and a steering commitee, which are equally staffed with employees from neunerhaus and s Bausparkasse. Thus, aims, contact persons and the cooperation was defined. Working groups for acquisition of flats, fundraising, organisation, communication and management of moving-in where set. Within this project groups, one person from neunerhaus togehter with one person from s Bausparkasse act as responsible contact person. The cooperation within the project group and the contact persons is on a very good level, intense and productive. Furthermore, the managing board of s Bausparkasse is supporting ERST WOHNEN actively by engaging themselves in the aquisition of flats and finding partners in the area of housing developers. Relationships to housing developers are used to gain funds and flats for ERST WOHNEN.