The debate about affordable housing is omnipresent. In Vienna rents are cheap as compared to international standards. Meanly because in Vienna historically there have been intensive communal housing and a broad funding of social housing. Today around a quarter of the Viennese population is living in blocks of council flats, the majority of the new buildings is socially funded. Although analysis are showing that rents in Vienna went up in the past few years more than in other European countries - averagely by 7% per year when newly rent. Also the average rent for all segments (communal or private) in this period of time has in- creased more than the inflation and the income by that time. Also temporary rents aggravate the housing situation, which lead to the situation that less affordable housing was available for people that are then more depended on the services of WWH. In consequence this sys- tem should be questioned, which has been there for so many years and has developed so many services that should step by step react to and fulfill the needs of the clients. But this system has been under fire for a long time already. Mainly clients in more than one problem- situation suffer from it. The stress that comes from social dislocation when they have to move repeatedly or their limited private sphere is equally disturbing and has to be criticized.
On their long way, step by step, combined with requirements, to get their own appartement, many clients fall out of the system or get stuck in it. To be doubted is also if these skills and requirements that are put on those hosted settings are suitable to teach the client indepen- dent housing and living in own apartments or if they on the contrary “unlearn” independent living that way. These critics have lead to the search for alternative concepts - and it was finally developed with the housing first approach.
In Vienna they have more and more worked on, also included this approach so it’s a good reason to introduce the housing first project and the possibilities to implement it to the system of WWH - even more than it has before.