Close this search box.
Close this search box.

Residence Entitlement Certificate

(Wohnberechtigungsschein - WBS)

(Wohn- berechtigungs- schein - WBS)

If you’re planning to find affordable housing in Berlin, understanding the Residence Entitlement Certificate, known as Wohnberechtigungsschein (WBS), is essential. This guide will walk you through the basics of WBS and its significance in securing subsidized housing in the city.

What is a Wohnberechtigungsschein (WBS)?

The Wohnberechtigungsschein is a certificate issued by the local authorities in Berlin to individuals or families meeting specific income criteria. It serves as proof of eligibility for applying for government-subsidized housing units, also known as social or affordable housing.


Step 1: Determine Eligibility

To obtain a WBS in Berlin, you need to meet certain income requirements based on the number of people in your household. The criteria vary depending on the city’s housing policies, and the income thresholds are regularly updated. Here is a calculator for the city of Berlin (only in German) that could help you check your eligibility.


Step 2: Gather Required Documents

Before applying for a WBS, gather the necessary documents, which may include:

  1. Proof of identity (ID card, passport)
  2. Proof of income (payslips, tax statements)
  3. Rent and utility cost details
  4. Family composition details (e.g., marriage certificate, birth certificates of children)
  5. Application Form


Step 3: Submit Application

Submit your application for the Wohnberechtigungsschein by sending it via post. The authorities will review your documents and assess your eligibility. Be prepared for a potentially long waiting time (4-8 weeks).


Step 4: Receive Your Wohnberechtigungsschein

If your application is approved, you will receive the Wohnberechtigungsschein, indicating the size of the apartment you are eligible for and the duration of its validity. Sometimes, you may be asked to provide additional documents to process your application. If you need assistance, you can use our assisting service.


Step 5: Applying for Subsidized Housing

With the Wohnberechtigungsschein in hand, you can now apply for subsidized housing in Berlin. Contact housing agencies or visit their websites to check available units and submit your applications.


Important Tips:

  • Wohnberechtigungsschein is specific to Berlin and may not be valid in other cities or states in Germany.
  • The certificate has an expiration date, so make sure to renew it if you’re still in need of subsidized housing after it expires.
  • Social housing in Berlin is limited, so it’s essential to apply early and be patient during the waiting process.



The Wohnberechtigungsschein is a valuable tool for individuals or families seeking affordable housing in Berlin. By meeting the income criteria and obtaining the certificate, you gain access to government-subsidized housing options. Start your journey to find suitable and affordable housing with the Wohnberechtigungsschein today!