Pledge 10 – Leipzig
- City: Leipzig
Leipzig has signed two pledges to the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR). On 28 January 2019, Leipzig became the 10th city to pledge to join the EUROCITIES campaign, when Deputy Mayor Thomas Fabian signed a commitment to principle 19 on housing and assistance for homeless.
Leipzig has grown by over 50,000 people in the past five years, which led to a tighter housing market with the vacancy rate down to 2%. To address this challenge, Leipzig adopted in 2018 a new municipal plan for emergency housing.
For the next two years, Leipzig will increase its budget to €10 million annually for city services in the prevention of evictions and homelessness, emergency housing and follow-up support, including:
- Expansion of the 6 emergency shelters (4 night-time and 2 day-time shelters with additional shelters in winter) and 6 group homes (for people living individually).
- Introduction of a social ambulance (vehicle for emergency services to homeless).
- Incentives to property owners to rent out to households in difficulty of finding housing.
- Secure additional rent-controlled apartments for use by the city.
- Strengthen support through counselling, paying for outstanding rent or energy bills, and offering temporary apartments to evicted families.
Deputy Mayor Thomas Fabian said: “Social policy in Europe has to protect the most vulnerable. This is especially true when it comes to housing. In Leipzig, we aim to ensure that everyone living in our city has shelter and the chance to find decent housing to maintain social stability and cohesion”.
On 4 September 2020, Leipzig reaffirmed its commitment to implementing the EPSR, with a strong pledge to healthcare, focusing on mental health and well-being.
The city has a long history of coordinating, managing and financing psychosocial services for people with severe mental health problems. It applies a holistic approach to community-based mental health services that address needs for housing, employment and social support while at the same time offer medical treatment. The city’s objective is to ensure good and easily accessible care together with support to prevent the exclusion of people with mental health problems.
Leipzig commits to continue, reinforce and adapt its services to the new needs by:
- Making 3.45 million EUR available from the city budget in 2020, which is an increase of 30% since 2015.
- This budget is for reinforcing the pshychosocial and mental health services, including the outreach work, and
reinforcing the Network of Community Pshychiatry that provides both therapy and a day clinic in direct connection with social support.
Leipzig’s Deputy Mayor, Thomas Fabian, said: “In Leipzig, we aim to ensure that everyone with severe mental health problems has access to pshychosocial support close to his home. Our goal is to support and empower people who are among the most disadvantaged and marginalised in order to reach a more just and inclusive society, and contribute to a more inclusive Europe for all citizens”.