Germany’s Homeless Crisis—Another Sign That the Nation Is in Deep Trouble
Germany has experienced a 150 percent increase in the number of homeless since 2014, according to statistics released by the German government this week. More than half of Germany’s homeless are refugees. Worse still, the number is expected to increase by another 40 percent by 2018.
The figures, released on Tuesday, show that Germany currently has an estimated 860,000 homeless. Around 440,000 are migrants. These figures include people living in shelters and in communal housing; this is not the number of people living on the streets (although that number has increased by one third since 2014).
The story here is not just the dramatic rise in homelessness in Germany or the fact that many of these homeless are migrants. Perhaps the bigger story is the way the government is digesting these figures. Even as they released these numbers, government officials stressed that Angela Merkel’s “come one, come all” immigration policy was not to blame for the massive increase in homelessness. “While immigration has dramatically aggravated the overall situation, … it is by no means the sole cause of the new housing shortage,” explained Thomas Specht, managing director of the Federal Homelessness Association.
According to Specht, “[T]he main cause of housing shortages and homelessness is a housing policy that has failed in Germany for decades, as well as insufficient efforts to fight poverty” (emphasis added throughout).
So the arrival of more than 1 million poor foreigners in the space of two years isn’t really the problem. The problem is that the government hasn’t worked hard enough to house these people.
This might sound rational to Mr. Specht and Chancellor Merkel, but it won’t sound rational to millions of Germans.
What is the solution to the homelessness crisis? It’s not tackling the migrant crisis. According to Werena Rosenke, a director with the Federal Homelessness Association, Germany’s federal government together with local authorities needs to work harder to create more affordable housing. And get this: One option would be for the government to procure “available housing stock from private landlords and businesses.”
Rather than curb the inflow of migrants into Germany, Rosenke and other German officials would prefer to take private property from German citizens.
This might sound rational to Ms. Rosenke, but it won’t sound rational to millions of Germans.
Again, perhaps the biggest news here is the continued failure by German authorities to accept the negative impact of the migrants, and their refusal to consider meaningful solutions to the migrant crisis. By failing to seriously confront this issue, Angela Merkel and Germany’s elite are transforming the German people—and Germany itself—into something very different and much more frightening than the democratic, peaceful and friendly nation Germany is today. The more disillusioned, frustrated and angry the German people become, the more vulnerable they will be to radical politics and radical leaders with radical solutions. Angela Merkel is turning the German people into a ticking time bomb.
As I wrote in the November-December issue of our Trumpet magazine (free upon request), “[E]ventually, the tension and anger will explode, initiating a course of events that will bring about the rise of a new, more powerful, more assertive, more terrifying Germany!”