No Roof over Your Head

Families without Homes

Nearly always, homelessness affects men, the jobless, people with substance abuse problems. At least that is the image of homelessness that is anchored in many minds. Reality has long since ceased to conform to this image. In larger cities in particular, where rents are racing up to unaffordable levels, many families, singles, and children no longer have roofs over their heads. At least this is what is being reported by social workers, for despite the rapid growth of the problem, we still have few precise figures or statistics. For some time now, those affected have no longer been people whose lives have gone off the rails: these days, homelessness affects people who would not normally be associated with the problem. But don't we always hear that in Germany, no one need live on the streets? Especially not families with children, who enjoy special protections? But observable developments tell a very different story, one driven in particular by the shortage of affordable housing. Those affected simply cannot afford to pay the escalating rents in boomtowns like Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, and Stuttgart. At least in the medium term, no improvement is in sight, for according to estimates, we lack hundreds of thousands of subsidized housing units. In particular those who are dependent upon Hartz IV, are behind in their rent, or have negative credit reports simply have no chance on the current housing market. But just how acute is the current situation in Germany? This film explores this question, offering those affected an opportunity to speak for themselves, but also confronting politicians with the often underestimated dimensions of the problem, and interviewing experts about possible solutions. Is it really true that no in Germany must live on the streets?

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