Housing First Austria – Arriving Home

Housing First Austria aims to end homelessness for more than 2,000 individuals and establish a system in Austria that will eradicate homelessness altogether.


In Austria, around 20,000 people are officially registered as homeless, with estimates suggesting that the actual figure is almost double that. The rising cost of living and a competitive housing market put many individuals at risk of homelessness, with 6% of Austrians having experienced homelessness at some point. This project, based on the housing-first approach, provides affordable homes to those experiencing homelessness and covers upfront costs, deposits, and moving expenses. 


Housing First Austria aims to bring about structural change by fostering a coalition of stakeholders from the social and housing sectors, backed by political support. Furthermore, federal funding demonstrates a significant step towards streamlining homeless services in Austria. Housing First Austria considers housing to be a fundamental human right and offers social care without coercion. To tackle the root-cause of homelessness, the project combines social and housing policies to ensure access to affordable homes. The project aligns with the EU's Lisbon Declaration, which aims to end homelessness by 2030.


Since the launch of Housing First Austria, over 2,000 individuals have found permanent housing, with more to follow by September 2024. This initiative has been successful in reaching out to women and mothers who experience hidden homelessness, often overlooked by traditional services. Around 63% of adult beneficiaries are women, and 40% of the project's beneficiaries are children. Housing First Austria is an exemplary alliance between politics, NGOs, and the housing sector, working together to eradicate homelessness in a sustainable manner.

Project Owner
Johannes Rauch
Austrian Federal Minister for Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection
Project Owner
Elisabeth Hammer
Chairwoman of BAWO – housing for all
Project owner
Klaus Baringer
President of the Austrian Federation of Limited-Profit Housing Associations
Project Team
Emine Özkan
housing first austria Project Manager at BAWO – housing for all