LebensRäume (Living Spaces)

Ein altes Haus als Lebensraum

The district of Steinfurt, with its 24 towns and municipalities, is a rural area characterised mainly by single-family and semidetached houses in private ownership. The age of the house owner often correlates with the age of the building. This results in an increasing number of elderly people, often singles, live in older, non-accessible buildings with poor energy performance standards. Even though only a few rooms are used, the per capita living space that needs to be heated is often very large. At the same time, there is a lack of housing for younger households. As a result of the demand for housing, there is increasing pressure to identify further development areas in which young families can fulfill their dream of house ownership. This has a negative impact on land consumption, infrastructure costs, heating energy consumption (climate protection) and the social mix.

The aim of the project is to develop and test an integrated and locally customized set of tools area to ensure that insufficiently used living space is used according to needs, customized to the conditions of demographic change – i.e. to the phase of life and age of the resident – and to improve the energy performance. The main hub is a central advisory and intermediary office, which will mobilise under-used or empty living space in one and two-family houses and ensure that it is used on the basis of need.

As an intermediary office and hub, the agency performs a range of functions, coordinates their implementation in the district, facilitates links between the involved stakeholders, and undertakes public relations activities on the basis of target groups. The agency  (1) performs the function of a housing exchange platform and agency to help homeowners with large living space to search for appropriate  accommodation, if they are willing to move, (2) provides additional services including advice and support, and mediation and brokering between stakeholders, (3) serves as the hub of a centre of excellence, which supports specific conversion work through services including advice on living space adaptation, subsidy consultancy, and the recruitment of tradesmen, energy consultants etc., and (4) facilitates intermediate use of temporarily empty housing by involving intermediary organisations. The aim is to communicate experience with successful tools to interested municipalities all over Germany.


March 2017 – February 2020


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)


Öko-Institut e.V.

ISOE – Institute for Socio-ecological Research

Steinfurt District: Office for Climate Protection and Sustainability – “Haus im Glück” (Happy Home Cooperative)


Allgemeine Materialien




Befragungsergebnisse Hausbesitzer*innen und Wohnungssuchende


Materialien für die Orientierungsberatung

Die offenen Word-Dateien im folgenden Abschnitt können unter einer Creative Commons Lizenz CC-BY-NC-SA1 verwendet, bearbeitet und weitergegeben werden:


Leitfaden für die Orientierungsberatung: Orientierungsberatung Übersichtsgrafik; Orientierungsberatung Langfassung; Orientierungsberatung Kurzfassung Leitfaden



Broschüren mit weiterführender Information für Hauseigentümer*innen

Die offenen Word-Dateien im folgenden Abschnitt können unter einer Creative Commons Lizenz CC-BY-NC-SA2 verwendet, bearbeitet und weitergegeben werden. Die .pdf-Dateien zeigen eine Möglichkeit der lokalen Anpassung und grafischen Gestaltung, wie sie im Kreis Steinfurt umgesetzt wurde.

Gemeinschaftliches Wohnen (pdf-Version Steinfurt zur Ansicht / anpassbare Textversion)

Umzug (pdf-Version Steinfurt zur Ansicht / anpassbare Textversion)

Vermietung (pdf-Version Steinfurt zur Ansicht / anpassbare Textversion)

Wohnen für Hilfe (pdf-Version Steinfurt zur Ansicht / anpassbare Textversion)

Wohnungsteilung und Umbau von Gebäuden (pdf-Version Steinfurt zur Ansicht / anpassbare Textversion)

Further content: