If your asylum application is still being processed (“Asylbewerber”) and you have not yet received a protection status, the state will provide for your accommodation. As a rule, you will be housed in an initial reception facility (“Erstaufnahmeeinrichtung” or “EAE”) for the first months following your arrival. From there, you will move into a communal accommodation space (“Gemeinschaftsunterkunft”, “Asylbewerberheim” or “Wohnheim”) or a private flat. In both cases, the government will cover the costs of your housing. In principle, this process is regulated differently in the various federal states. You may also have to move from one federal state to another due to the Initial Distribution of Asylum Seekers (EASY). To which reception facility you will be allocated depends on the current capacities as well as your responsible branch office of BAMF or initial reception facility.
As an asylum seeker, the "competence according to country of origin" principle applies to you. That means depending on your country of origin, you can be accommodated in reception facilities for up to six months, or until your case is decided. You can also be allocated to another facility during this period under certain circumstances, for instance for family reunification. In case you come from a so-called “safe country of origin” (Ghana, Senegal, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Albania, and Kosovo as of November 2017), you will have to stay in the initial reception facility during your entire asylum process.