1,350 Ukrainian Displaced Persons Could be Accommodated by Private Apartments in Vienna

PeopleOther ♦ Published: April 21, 2022; 21:47 ♦ (Vindobona)

The residents of the city of Vienna already provided over 1,100 housing donations for Ukrainian aid seekers who had to flee from the war crimes committed by the Russian invaders. Thus, about 94% of Ukrainians could be accommodated in private shelters and facilitate the situation for public quarters.

The willingness of the population to help is very high. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Eybl, Plakatmuseum Wien/Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

The invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine has made many people homeless overnight. While most of the refugees find temporary accommodation in the immediate neighboring countries, many also come to Austria. According to latest reports, the number of daily arrivals is estimated at 500. Thus, the capital Vienna is also confronted with the problem of how to accommodate all the people.

According to Peter Hacker, city councillor for social affairs, the willingness of the capital's citizens to help is high. Especially housing donations are particularly important in the current period and many Viennese are trying to make their contribution.

Large number of private accommodations

"1,350 Ukrainian displaced persons have already been able to find a new home through housing donations," Social City Councillor Peter Hacker draws an interim balance of the work of the Diakonie housing agency for displaced persons from Ukraine.

"With the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the willingness of the Viennese to help was immediately very high. Many people came forward and were willing to share or donate their living space. The city reacted quickly to this and, together with the Vienna Social Fund, the Diakonie and Vienna's helpers, provided a platform to collect housing donations centrally," says Hacker.

Since the beginning of March it is already possible to announce itself as Viennese over the homepage of the Diakonie and the aids of Vienna, and to make its private housing offers available.

The housing donations are collected, checked and mediated by the Diakonie. "We sift through the offers received very carefully. The availability of the apartments and shared rooms is clarified and the duration of the housing opportunity is checked," Maria Katharina Moser, director of the Diakonie explains the procedure.

"The housing counselors make sure that the offer matches the needs of the refugees. At the counseling center in the Austria Center Vienna, the displaced persons receive personal counseling to find a suitable "housing match." It is important that the framework conditions fit for both sides - i.e. for accommodation provider:in and refugees," says Moser.

"Together with its partner organizations, Fonds Soziales Wien is responsible for housing and counseling people in need of help and protection. Especially in challenging times like now, it shows once again that we can count on our partner organizations to quickly implement offers. Therefore, we are pleased to have a professional and experienced partner in the Diakonie Flüchtlingsdienst, which has taken over the housing placement for refugees in Vienna centrally," emphasizes Susanne Winkler, Deputy FSW Managing Director and Head of Operations of the FSW Crisis Staff.

Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, more than 11,500 Ukrainians have been admitted to Vienna's primary care system. About 94% of Ukrainian displaced persons live privately.

Donations of housing are still needed

Nevertheless, the work is not yet done. 1,100 housing donations have been entered into the Diakonie database so far. Only housing donations that meet certain criteria, such as length of availability, location in Vienna, or separate room, are entered into the database and subsequently placed. Two-thirds of the 1,100 housing donations have already been successfully placed. "However, the need for housing donations is still high. If you have an apartment or a room that will not be used for a few months, you can quickly and easily report your housing donation online," appeals the City Council.

Vienna City Government - Magistrat der Stadt Wien