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Unemployed could be forced into tiny apartments

The Local · 23 Jul 2010, 08:35

Published: 23 Jul 2010 08:35 GMT+02:00

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The plan would give local governments freedom to set rent subsidy rates for the long-term unemployed and the maximum size of these apartments would be dramatically reduced, daily Financial Times Deutschland reported.

The plan could force many Hartz IV recipients out of their existing apartments to look for smaller, cheaper accommodation and, as a result, lead to a flood of legal complaints, the paper said.

Although the federal government contributes to Hartz IV rental payments, local municipal governments administer the rental arrangements for recipients. Under the new plan, municipalities would create their own by-laws to govern the rate at which rent subsidies are paid.

The expert panel from the Labour Ministry suggested that for a Hartz IV recipient living alone, the maximum size of a dwelling could be reduced to 25 square metres. The present guideline is 45 to 50 square metres.

The revelation is contained in an answer from the government to a parliamentary inquiry by the environmentalist Greens.

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The proposal is part of an effort to ease the financial burden on cash-strapped municipalities and one among many savings measures suggested by the Labour Ministry’s panel. A local government finances commission is due to report in autumn.

Another such proposal is to end free bus and train transport for the disabled.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:13 July 23, 2010 by Victor Scicluna
How can someone live in a 25sq m place ........... whether Hartz Iv or not, maybe we should regulate living space as part of human rights, we make a scene when an animal is kept at a zoo at a small space yet I am shocked to see how some people are forced to live, just bought a flat in Munich and I therefore visited around 20 flats I Munich, maybe I was spoilt before but I couldn´t believe it to see families with small babies living in a one room flat with kitchen and wardrobe plus bicycle next to their bed.
09:20 July 23, 2010 by Ant3109
Governments of this world won't be happy until we are all living back in the dark ages, shovelling s*** and living in mud huts.
09:57 July 23, 2010 by yuma67
That's the price to pay when you live for free....solution,get a job(anything),stop having children you can not support,stop buying beer and cigarettes or move to another country....where I come from nothing is for free.
10:30 July 23, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
Well yuma67, welcome to Germany. Not all people want to be on Hartz IV. Many want to work! But it is so much easier to cut these cost than to solve the problems with employment.

Right Victor. I remember a couple being forced to buy a larger flight kennel because the dogs ears touched the top of the pen. never mind that he would probably spend the next 7 hours laying down...
11:41 July 23, 2010 by claudegaveau
I cannot believe they are considering cutting free public transport for disabled people. They should be increasing the access to public transport for the disabled. I am amazed at how many U-Bahn Stations in Berlin are not wheelchair accessible.

As for Hartz IV recipients needing to downsize their apartments, I have no problem with this, so long as only one of them are required to live in the 25 SQ meter flat. I know couples who are both working and receive no payments who live in flats not so much bigger than this. But the problem will be to make sure there are enough small apartments to accommodate all the Hartz IV recipients. Maybe the easier solution would be to tackle unemployment and provide worthwhile employment to the many of those who want to work but are not prepared to become someone's low wage slave.
12:46 July 23, 2010 by freechoice
why do i feel that human rights violations are common nowadays?
13:06 July 23, 2010 by JohnnesKönig
Rimini, Pas, the reality is it will be costly to implement. And to build places to comply will in effect create slums. But many that sneer down on the less fortunate may see this as the only solution to getting the budget under control.

claudegaveau, is right! "worthwhile employment" is the solution. but cutting cost requires much less effort...

The govt is out of touch with the situation. They need to have a look around to see the reality of the matter. Much like in the US where if the politicians had to depend on SS benefits to live, they would solve the problem immediately!
13:45 July 23, 2010 by whatzup
The economy is starting to grow again and the government's response is to try to crowd people into closets so that it can afford scandalous projects like the Elbe Philharmonic. And why stop at 25 square meters, all the unemployed need are a toilet and an electric hotplate - lets cut it down to 8 square meters.
14:28 July 23, 2010 by whatzup
The reason there is a size restriction is because news of an unemployed person in a large apartment, no matter what the rent, would make very bad press for the government. The electorate would think, hey! I have a job and I don't have an apartment that big!
14:41 July 23, 2010 by claudegaveau
I wonder how making people move into smaller apartments answers and cost saving measures. There are after all moving costs involved which will surely negate any savings from making people live in smaller apartments.
15:36 July 23, 2010 by ReaderX
Yeah and those moving costs will also be subsidized by the government.

Good show Germany. Way to actually fix the problem. Why this works perfect with the plan to start penalizing the obese. I say we take those people too and put them into smaller apartments.
16:47 July 23, 2010 by Kertis
How can someone live in 25 m2, you ask? Easy, just ask the Japanese. They specialize in the art of living very efficiently and effectively in very small spaces. They rent 'room' in certain areas of Tokyo where you just kind of slide into your hive-like cell where you sleep the night. These sleep-cells are stacked on top of one another and provide just enough room to sit up so you can skooch in and out of your clothes. It is really quite the efficient way to sleep and only takes about 3 m2.

Then you could have a massive 22 m2 to take care of your other living requirements (fold away toilet into the wall, sink-kitech combo allowing you to wash and rinse two of everything - plates, bowls, glasses, flatware, etc.- and then store them in your thumbnail cabinets.

Who says you can't live in 25 m2? After all, if you're not paying for it and living off of the largess of the State, then they can be put into anything and there should be no quibbling. If you don't like it, you can always 'Bite the Schnitzel' and remove yourself from the gene pool.
17:21 July 23, 2010 by claudegaveau
Yes Kertis. We could also only take 1 weeks holidays like in Japan and give the other week we would be entitled to like in Japan back to the poor company that is only making billions in profit. In fact, if we work at a desk with a computer, why do we need legs, we could amputate them and then we would need even smaller living space. OH! I forgot, Germany has that one already covered. No more free travel for disabled. Darn it!
18:47 July 23, 2010 by whatzup
"living off of the largess of the State" Kertis? I like that. The fact is that unemployment is built into the economic model in Germany because there are not enough jobs to go around the way their capitalist model is constructed. The way I see it is the german government *owes* very generous subsistence money to the unemployed for failing to provide a decent job to them. If the germany wants to build huge white elephants like the Elb Philharmonic rather than raise the standard for a broader spectrum of its citizens let the society that elected that government take the consequences without moaning about it. How anyone can even run up a trial balloon downsizing the poor is amazing considering the unconscionable amount of money Hamburg is literally dumping into the river ?
20:44 July 23, 2010 by slawek
Sorry, but I must laugh hearing this.

In the house, where I used to live for some time, the landlord strictly ensured no unemployed were allowed to rent their apartments. The apartments were 25 sq m small.

Does anyone see the problem? Landlords not welcoming unemployed at all.

As for the plan of the ministry above. It's not feasible. People have not only human rights but also constitutional rights.
21:17 July 23, 2010 by claudegaveau
Maybe the newly proposed "fat tax" can go towards bigger apartments. That way the larger of Germany's Hartz IV recipients can stay in their larger apartments and those of them who lose weight can get a government subsidy to move to a smaller apartment. LOL
04:28 July 24, 2010 by 1FCK_1FCK
Here come the righteous, blaming the poor for being poor. It's always their fault, until you're the one who's unemployed, them somebody done it to you! A little compassion, people. The economy's like a pyramid, there's only so much room at the top, no matter how hard you work or how smart you are or what school you attended. The Man wants a large number of you to be jobless, so they can drive down the wages of those fortunate enough to have jobs. If you want to play their game of divide & conquer, help yourself. Just remember how you pointed the finger when it happens to you.
08:44 July 24, 2010 by NiederscheldenAmi
The problem with the Social System in Germany:

The people who are in charge of controlling who really deserve a helping hand with HartzIV...etc.; are not doing their jobs.

I have lived here in a 7 Unit apartment house since circa 1997, we have a family from Poland, for example - who work Black, (under the table tax free.).

They have worked Black since 1997, they have their apartment payed for by the state, they pay no taxes - free electricity, etc.

Their apartment is twice as large as mine and when they are not busy getting tax free Black money - they are downstairs cleaning and shining up their auto or entertaining visitors from their Homeland out back in the garden area.

We have reported them several times over the years, bottom line - German Beurocrats and Red Tape = Nobody gives a ratts ass.

At the end of the month, after my Taxes are payed, electric and insurance...etc.;

I am lucky just to have a little spending money left over for a movie.

It irritates me that people who abuse the system - get away with it, year after year, and we pay for it out of our pockets!
10:19 July 24, 2010 by claudegaveau
@ NiederscheldenAmi

Is it the fact that the family are from Poland who are doing this that annoys you? I can assure you, there are lots of Germans doing this also in Germany and in fact this sort of thing goes on in every country by every nationality. What do companies do for example. They locate where they can pay the least tax and get the most government subsidies. Simple. As soon as that scenario changes, they let go the workforce and relocate somewhere else. Maybe we should all do the same as this Polish family and help bring this corrupt top down Pyramid Ponzi scheme tumbling down.

As 1FCK_1FCK said, "If you want to play their game of divide & conquer, help yourself. Just remember how you pointed the finger when it happens to you". If enough of us did the same as your Polish neighbours, then they would have to change the system. If enough of us refused to blame the unemployed for the countries woes, indeed the worlds woes, the MAN would not be able to run us all off of each other to his benefit.
11:50 July 24, 2010 by whatzup
Well said claudegaveau!
19:21 July 24, 2010 by MonkeyMania
Totally agree with you Claudegaveau. As they say. S### flows down. Maybe it is time some of it was thrown back up.
00:34 July 26, 2010 by Rhinob
And where does the government get this money. From producers. And many of those who produce and pay taxes live in tiny little apartments. My wife and I live in a 43 sq. m. apt. That's two people, not one, and only one of us works. Zero sympathy for the unemployed. Their circumstances should be a great incentive to create a future not wait for it to be handed to them by Gov't theft and redistribution.
00:58 July 26, 2010 by Talonx
@ Rhinob and others

It is perpetually mind-boggeling that people assume the unemployed are so by choice. Think about that for a moment....

Anyways, the 25sq. is potentially for families not for two people, so quite your yapping. The stipulation concerns funding for any apartment for an economic unite (family or single).

Incentives don't matter when jobs don't exist, how you've never thought of this is beyond me, but welcome to the real world in which unemployment is built into the system.
01:31 July 26, 2010 by claudegaveau
Rhinob, please take the Blinkers off and read the posts previous to yours and see how this has already been explained. OK, you have a job and work and you are bitter that you are not far better off than those who do not have a job. We all understand that. But think a little bit beyond the box and realise that the reason there are unemployed in Germany is because there are not enough jobs to accommodate everyone. Germany has a social system where this is built into the model. This will also benefit you on the unfortunate event that you lose your job. Then you and your family should not be stuck in a box either just to satisfy the narrow minded muppets like yourself. Read my post #27. I explained it there. Just like 1FCK_1FCK also explained. The blame for you living in a 43 Sq meter apartment with your wife is not the fault of the unemployed and it will not be bettered by moving the unemployed into 25 Sq meter apartments. The moving of the unemployed into smaller apartments will benefit the MAN. The MAN being the industry CEO's and their massive salaries and bonuses, the high ranking government officials getting large pats on the back for screwing the poor peasants in favour of big business. And you want to support them against your own?? Get real mate and wake up and smell the f****** coffee.
17:53 July 26, 2010 by whatzup
If the government insists on restricting the apartment size of the poor unemployed lets rehab the Elbe Philharmonic and finish its construction with 25 cu meter apartments to meet the demand.
23:57 August 1, 2010 by generalpublic
perhaps we could remove 75% of the oxygen from the apartments as well
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