Its really hard for my family to live in a GU, as workers here just keep putting us in rooms with adult men (I am a girl, my mom is single and I only have a little brother) that keep staring at us and do nothing about it. I read on the internet that particularly vulnerable refugees, for example, single parents, mentally ill people etc. are eligible to move into an apartment after 1 year. (I also have a history of depression and severe anxiety) How can we apply for this? Its really creepy, I was followed around by one of the men living in the GU today. I dont know what to do. Please guide me. Im really sick of living here. Before anyone asks, workers here do nothing about it and say that its just the way things are.
Note: our asylum cases are still pending
asked Feb 8 in Home & Living by maribel999 | 188 views

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Hi @maribel999

There is no rule that I am aware of that states vulnerable people are only eligible to move after a year in a GU. Vulnerable people have to be given the required protection they need from the first day they are in a GU. If this protection cannot be guaranteed, then such a person has to be housed in an apartment.

For example, unaccompanied minor children are not allowed to stay in a GU as it is clear they require extra protection and safer accommodation. They are provided with specialised housing with other unaccompanied minors.

For all other cases, it is the authorities who decide whether a person is sufficiently vulnerable to require then to be housed separately.

The legal text that requires EU countries to have certain standards when housing asylum seekers is the EU’s Reception Directive. Article 21 lists certain cases to be considered as vulnerable and includes minor children and single parents with minor children. Here you can read the legal text itself:


In Germany the law that applies this EU law for accommodation in GUs is section 53 of the law on asylum (Asylgesetz):


It refers to a different section of the law that requires each state in Germany to provide appropriate accommodation to women and vulnerable people and states that this requirement applies also in GUs.

I hope that is not too complicated but I wish to make it very clear that there are laws at EU, national and state level in Germany that require the authorities to act in order to protect vulnerable people. Despite what you have unfortunately been told by staff, such conditions you describe are not ‘just the way things are.’

I recommend you apply in writing to the part of the Sozialamt in charge of accommodation for asylum seekers and ask to be housed in an apartment.

This type of accommodation is called ‘dezentrale Unterbringung’. The apartments are coordinated by the Sozialamt of the area you are in. The apartments are often called ‘Gewährleistungswohnung’ or ‘Belegwohnung’.

You make an application (Antrag) to be housed in an apartment.

Here you can find an example of such an application:


That example is written a bit more generally, if you use it you should adapt it to make it clear that this is a case of a vulnerable family and refer to the legal basis I mentioned.

But you do not have to use any particular form. Important is to provide your names, dates of birth and address. You should provide as much detail as you can about the situation in the GU:

  • How long have you been living there?
  • Have you been moved within the GU?
  • What is your room like?
  • Who have you had to share a room with (not their personal details, just whether they are other families, men, women etc.)?
  • How are you given privacy in the room and also in any washing facilities?
  • Have the people who run the GU made any improvements or offered any alternative better accommodation within the GU?
  • What incidents have taken place where you and your family felt unsafe?

If you wish, you can also mention your medical history but it would be best to do this if you can provide some documentation as proof.

As it is an urgent situation, you should set them a deadline to respond. If they reject your application, you can appeal and also take further legal action.

If the staff in the GU are unwilling to assist you with the application, you can request assistance from a migrant advice service. Here you can search for one in your area:


I hope that makes things a bit clearer. Let me know if you have further questions.



answered Feb 9 by mbeon-Éanna
Thank you. I just told my mom about this. One thing I have to mention is that, how long of a deadline should we give them? For example, would requiring them to answer until the 10th of the next month be appropriate?
We have been moved from another GU to here but things are not really different here. Can I include that information too? Thanks
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