Two-thirds of the homeless have German citizenship and more than half of respondents said they suffer from a long-term illness or disability, while one-fourth indicated they have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

In this file photo, a homeless person is seen resting under a shade in Berlin, Germany.
In this file photo, a homeless person is seen resting under a shade in Berlin, Germany. (Reuters)

The number of homeless people in Germany is over 260,000, government statistics have noted.

Based on the first report by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on the homelessness situation released on Friday, as of January 31, 2022, there were 263,000 people who did not have a permanent home.

Homeless people are divided in the report into three categories: those who are sheltered in emergency accommodation, secretly homeless staying with friends or acquaintances and people who live on the streets.

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The report revealed that 63 percent of the homeless were men and 35 percent were women, while the average age of the homeless was 44.

Two-thirds of the homeless have German citizenship and more than half of respondents said they suffer from a long-term illness or disability, while one-fourth indicated they have an addiction to drugs or alcohol.

The Labour Ministry report dwells on the socio-structural characteristics of the three groups and strategies for fighting homelessness and eliminating it by 2030.

A report on plans to fight the problem will be presented next year.

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On the other hand, a Berlin-based homeless rights advocacy group, the Federal Association for Homeless Help (BAG W), demanded stronger constitutional housing guarantees, more eviction protection, better rent control and easier ways for those without a fixed address to get on the books so they can receive adequate health care.

Activists point out that a severe housing shortage and skyrocketing rents are making it tougher to find and hold onto stable living conditions.

Germany has a substantial low-wage sector and major studies have indicated that income inequality is mounting as a greater share of salaries has to go for rent.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies