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Refugees and migration

Mov’in Heidelberg—helping refugees find accommodation

Finding accommodation can be a lengthy and difficult process—especially if you don't know your way around yet or are struggling with language or other barriers. To assist and guide recognised refugees and asylum applicants holding a permission to move (a so-called 'Auszugsbescheid'—a letter from the social welfare office, the 'Sozialamt') in their search for housing in and around Heidelberg, the Diakonisches Werk Heidelberg (the social welfare organisation of the Protestant church in Heidelberg) has launched a special project called Mov'in Heidelberg.

Our project — what it is about

To help, guide and serve as a link between parties: This is what we want to achieve with our Mov'in Heidelberg project. We accompany refugees on their search for accommodation, help them communicate with landlords or housing associations as well as with any specialised offices and advice service centres involved. And if extra intensive preparation is called for—our Mov'in Heidelberg project, sponsored by the City of Heidelberg, will help.

We also offer pre-tenancy workshops and individual advice on

  • looking for accommodation—what you need to know, how to make your search a success etc.
  • life as a tenant—what it means, how to feel at home, what to expect
  • dealing with the less obvious details—tenants' responsibilities, electricity, heating, utilities etc.

Our practical advice and information on good neighbourship, everyday life as a tenant and more will help your start life within your new four walls. We will also be there for you once you have moved—to help you settle in and, if necessary, to refer you to further advice and support services. In individual cases, we will get staff or volunteer workers from the refugee support service [Flüchtlingshilfe] Heidelberg involved.

Our service — who it is for

Our vibrant Mov'in Heidelberg project addresses three groups of people: Persons who have been living in Heidelberg for over 24 months and are looking for accommodation, as well as persons offering accommodation, and, finally, persons who want to get involved as volunteers. Our project service is open to anyone regardless of their origin, beliefs and religion, gender and language. Our service for migrants in search of accommodation is voluntary and free of charge. Your query will, of course, be treated in confidence.

Our Mov’in Heidelberg project is for

  • persons inhabiting residential centres in Heidelberg (both individuals and families who have either been granted leave to remain [Aufenthaltserlaubnis] as recognised refugees, or whose asylum claim is still being processed and who have received a permission to move due to the duration of their stay)
  • engaged citizens willing and able to accompany refugees on their search for housing and to answer questions about everyday aspects of accommodation and tenancy
  • landlords and owners willing to let single rooms or entire apartments to people who had to flee their country

Help from Mov'in Heidelberg — for helpers and helped alike

Our staff will gladly do all they can to support our volunteers in their work. We organise information events to draw from the wealth of experience and to help answer any questions that may arise. Please get together: The Diakonisches Werk Heidelberg provides helpers and persons in search of accommodation with facilities to meet and talk.

If you are interested in volunteering, you can

  • help overcome communication barriers as a language mediator with knowledge of languages spoken in countries of origin
  • accompany clients to viewings and further appointments involved in changing accommodation
  • support the search by actively looking on the internet—and possibly locating a hard-to-find offer
  • support communication between persons offering accommodation and specialised offices or advice service centres

Important to know: Our volunteers at Mov'in Heidelberg are no estate agents. We do not offer legal representation or advice services. With our Mov'in Heidelberg project, we want to accompany and assist.