Living cheaper with a WBS
In order to rent a subsidised and thus cheaper flat, a certificate of eligibility for subsidised flats (Wohnberechtigungsschein WBS) is necessary. To receive a WBS, the sum of the incomes of all household members is decisive.
However, many persons do not even know that they are eligible: Be it as young family, lone parent, student, or retiree - a verification of your own eligibility can indeed be worth it.
The "Wohnberechtigungsschein", WBS for short, is an official certificate in Germany with which a tenant can show their entitlement to receiving an officially subsidised flat (council flat). The "Wohnberechtigungsschein" is issued on request and is valid for 1 year.
You are only entitled to receive a "Wohnberechtigungsschein", if the flat that is to be subsidised is registered as your principal residence and there is no other, secondary residence.
Students and trainees can receive a WBS for the city where they study/work, if they permanently live there and intend to stay for a longer period of time. This can be proven with a certificate of enrollment or a training contract. Shared flats do not receive a WBS.
For better comprehension, an example: A young married couple, both 30 years old, has one small child. Together, they can earn up to 55,000 euros gross per year. From this sum, 1,000 euros per employee are deducted as standard abatement for income-related expenses. From the remaining amount, 30 % are deducted for taxes, health insurance and pension insurance, furthermore 5,000 euros for being a young married couple. This leaves 32,100 euros as total household income, which lies below the financial limit for this family. Therefore, they receive an entitlement certificate (WBS) for a 3-room flat or 75 sqm.
Are you eligible? You can verify it here.