In modern industrial and post-industrial societies the process of transition into adulthood has become longer and more complicated because of the extension of secondary education, accompanied by diversification and individualization of social life. This does not mean, however, that social constraints and origin no longer matter. On the one hand, modern societies provide more options to choose from, on the other hand, young people today are forced to reflect on the available options and justify their decisions.

Young people, hence, must choose and choose correctly, running the risk of taking the wrong choice and becoming socially excluded.
Patterns of transition from the parental home are therefore subject to change as participation in education and training
extends, as the labour and housing markets change, and as family formation is delayed. Comparison of current patterns with those in the past and in other countries indicates the extent to which they are affected by the social structures and institutions of the time or the countries concerned.
The study intends to shed light on the housing of young people in the western and eastern part of Germany, taking into account their different socio-historical backgrounds. This comparative view is complemented with findings pertaining to the whole of Europe. In particular, the study aims at investigating links between young people's state of housing and exclusion mechanisms of the domestic housing market as part of the European study on "Youth Housing and Exclusion" with six national teams involved.


  • A report on the general state of youth housing in Germany based on a secondary analysis of existing German data and documents.
  • A quantitative analysis of population survey data, concerning the housing of young adults aged 18 to 30 with regard to their personal and collective resources, such as education, income and property, social networks and residential environments.
  • A qualitative study based on interviews with social workers and young people, both participating in measures of legal housing care. Questions address respondents' perception of problems, needs, expectations, and proposals. The data base of the qualitative study consists of semi-standardized interviews with 30 adolescents and 20 social workers who are involved in legal housing care measures of the German Federal Child and Youth Welfare Act.
  • Contributions to a "European Study of Youth Lodging and Exclusion " based on studies of youth life and youth housing in the context of European modernization. Suggestions for a European policy.

The German Youth Institute (DJI) is responsible for the German special research propgramme und and for contributions to the European report.
Results were presented to the Commission of European Communities (GD XII und GD XXII) on September 30,1998

The final report:

René Bendit/Wolfgang Gaiser/Jan H. Marbach (eds.), Youth and Housing in Germany and the European Union.
Data and Trends on Housing: Biographical, Social and Political Aspects. Opladen 1999: Leske + Budrich.

presents a theoretical frame, findings, conclusions, and suggestions for governmental policies, housing agencies and youth services.

see conclusion

Cooperating institutions:
- Fédération Relais, Paris (European coordination), - Université X Paris-Nanterre (France);
- Universität Lissabon; Centre for Housing and Urban Studies (Portugal);
- University of Glasgow, Glasgow; Instituto de la Juventud, Madrid (Spain);
- Department of Building Functions Analysis, University of Lund (Sweden);
- Centre de Recherche Urbaine de l´Institut de Sociologie de l´Université Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)

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