The idea of a "certificate for independent living" has been around for some years. The Berlin housing companies allod, degewo and Marzahner Tor, as well as the Neighbourhood Management Council Mehrower Allee, launched this project, which is a training programme for young people to get them ready for having their own flat. The young participants in the programme complete a course consisting of six modules in which they acquire basic skills in a variety of areas to do with living independently. These areas include technical instructions for appliances, rules for good neighbourly relations and tenants’ interviews. The course also provides an introduction on how to heat and ventilate a flat properly in a way that saves energy. The Berlin-based charity JaKuS, which provides support to young people, played a decisive role in developing the "certificate for independent living" from the outset and offers training courses for the trainers on the certificate programme.
In a cooperation project with Deutsche Wohnen, JaKuS adapted the certificate to meet the needs of young refugees, and the adapted version of the certificate was successfully put into practice for the first time in January of this year. In November, the second training module for tenants’ interviews was held. Specialist staff from Deutsche Wohnen conducted practice interviews with the trainees at the company’s Service Point in Steglitz, a setting that was as realistic as possible. At the end of the course, which is being run by a trainer from the Stadtteilzentrum Steglitz, there will be a final test for the seven participants. Upon successfully completing this test, the participants will be awarded their "certificate for independent living". The certificate is recognised by many housing companies and helps prospective tenants who are looking for a flat of their own.
It is not just by supporting the “certificate for independent living” that Deutsche Wohnen shows its commitment to the integration of refugees. As a member of the "Wir zusammen" ["We together"] initiative, a network of German companies that promotes the integration of refugees, Deutsche Wohnen supports integrative projects that create and promote contact and communication between residents and refugees. This also includes making housing available to refugees - either independently or in cooperation with charitable organisations.
Deutsche Wohnen is one of the leading publicly listed property companies in Germany and Europe with a business focus on managing and developing its portfolio, which consists mainly of residential properties. As at 30 September 2017, the portfolio comprised approximately 163,500 units in total, of which 161,000 were residential and 2,500 commercial. The company is listed in the Deutsche Börse’s MDAX and is also included in the leading indices EPRA/NAREIT, STOXX® Europe 600 and GPR 250.