Two associations - Jugendwohnhilfe and Zürcher Jugendwohnungen - were established at the beginning of the 1980s against the backdrop of the demonstrations at the time by young people in Zurich. Demonstrators on the streets of the city drew attention to the severe housing shortage and the virtual lack of affordable accommodation for young people of limited means. Today, the Association lets more than 800 apartments and rooms in the City of Zurich to more than 2000 young tenants.
The Association's aim has always been to solve the problems that young people experience in finding somewhere to live pragmatically, unbureaucratically and unblinkered by ideologies. Most of our Jugendwohnnetz tenants are young adults in education or training, whether at university, at commercial college or serving an apprenticeship.
Some five to ten percent of our tenants are referred to us by social services offices and take advantage of the counselling we offer to assist them with living on their own. It is our goal to help these young people lead completely independent lives.
We receive a certain contractual subsidy from the City of Zurich to finance our counselling services. Other than this, we pay our own way without any public funding.
The Zurich Municipal Council is active in trying to create new living space for young people in Zurich. Juwo collaborates closely with existing institutions.
Although Jugendwohnnetz is totally neutral, it enjoys wide-based support from various church, political and social organisations. Our members include virtually all the political parties, youth parties and various religious institutions.
The committee of the Jugendwohnnetz Association and the supervisory board of the Stiftung für Jugendwohnhilfe foundation perform their duties on an honorary basis and are unsalaried. Both groups contain specialised experts who actively assist and advise operational staff in a variety of areas (finances, networking, PR measures, social work).
The employees can educate themselves on the job as well as attain schooling certificates (properties mgmt, social-worker, MBA etc.)