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Those entitled to housing benefit face a long impasse


The traffic light government wants to extend the payment of housing benefit to significantly more citizens. The problem: the authorities do not see themselves up to the bureaucratic effort. There was a lack of “the people to work it off quickly”.

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Residential buildings in Berlin

Photo: Monika Skolimowska / dpa

In the future, according to the will of the Federal Government, the housing benefit will be paid out to significantly more entitled persons.

However, the municipalities warn that many people may have to be prepared to receive the aid only after a long delay.

The main reason is the lack of staff in the responsible authorities.

"It already takes three to six months to process an application for housing benefit," said Gerd Landsberg, general manager of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, of the "Bild" newspaper.

"This will expand significantly." In addition to the conversion of the software to new parameters, there is also a wave of new applications coming to the municipalities.

"We don't have the people to work them off quickly." The cities advertised the positions, but couldn't fill them.

North Rhine-Westphalia's Building Minister Ina Scharrenbach (CDU) also expects massive delays and problems with implementation.

“Right from the start, the federal government had the goal of pushing through the housing benefit reform with all its might.

She will get a black eye herself," said Scharrenbach of the German Press Agency.

There is a lack of staff to process the applications, and new employees can only be trained from mid-December.

"We assume that under the new law, housing benefit applications can only be approved from April 2023 and then retrospectively," said the NRW Minister.

A rush to the housing benefit offices is already noticeable.

Hardly any country has taken precautions for possible advance payments.

They would also bring duplication of work for the administrations.

The Federal Council approved the reform on Friday.

According to this, next year, in addition to the 600,000 households nationwide, up to 1.4 million more could be entitled to a state subsidy for rent.

Households that do not receive social benefits but still have little money can apply for housing benefit.


Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-11-26

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