The district councils were not completely in agreement when this topic was last discussed in the district’s social committee. Some of the local politicians are enthusiastic, others are skeptical. It was about the project “Living for Help”, which was launched by the Neuhausen senior citizens’ meeting in 1996 and which has also been set up in the Munich district since March 2013. Ingrid Lindbüchl, Greens from Oberschleißheim, is enthusiastic without reservation and revealed from her private environment that “thanks to this concept, the grandma was able to stay in her house until the end of her life”. The principle is based on the idea that people can support each other, students mean that they have a hard time dying on the rental market in the metropolitan area, get a place to stay for free, as they move to senior citizens and offer them not only the sometimes sorely missed company, but should also be on hand to help, for example when shopping, cooking, doing household chores or gardening.
Between 2019 and June 2021, the response to the project was intensively examined, and whether “Wohnen für Hilfe should continue to evoke the project should also be funded. However, the model has not yet been accepted as desired, although there were 87 inquiries from people during this period On the other hand, 498 people looking for a room received personal advice. In addition, there were inquiries by e-mail and telephone, so that there were a total of 2931 inquiries from those looking for a room. In 40 cases there were house calls, Die form the basis of the mediation process. This shows whether a constellation has a chance of success, and mutual trust and sympathy must exist from the start. Ultimately, only 23 residential partnerships were concluded between 2019 and June 2021. There were a total of 25 existing partnerships on the reporting date in June Housing partnerships in 14 different communities in the Munich district.
District Councilor Gerlinde Koch-Dörringer (CSU), who explicitly praised the program on behalf of her parliamentary group in the Social Committee, was amazed at the rather manageable figures even for Corona times, in which the placement came to a complete standstill in places: “Maybe you have to do better Students are nice people who can be trusted, the seniors have to be taught that, “said Koch-Dörringer.
And while the SPD parliamentary group leader Florian Schardt also spoke out in favor of making the concept better known to the public and suggested that the communities should employ people to go from house to house “like a crafty developer” and to bring the idea closer to the elderly, Susanne Frank, Head of Care and Seniors in the District Office, cited another reason for the manageable number of partnerships that she saw as an essential reason: the loss of privacy when you meet a stranger in your apartment. This is a stumbling block, especially in the sanitary area: “Older people don’t want to share their bathroom,” said Frank.
Annette Ganssmüller-Maluche (SPD) even went one step further and fundamentally questioned the idea of solidarity. And so whether “living for help” could actually be a promising model: “The problem is less that it is not known, but that people cannot stand being close to strangers. I fear that the problems are different.”
Nevertheless, like all the other members of the Social Committee, she voted to continue the funding for the next three years, the district is paying a total of almost 150,000 euros.