Money for people in flood areas should arrive faster
Created: 2022-01-14Updated: 2022-01-14, 12:09 p.m
The traffic sign "No pedestrians" hangs on the fence at the gravel pit in the Blessem district.
© Oliver Berg/dpa/symbol image
In the past, people in the flood regions often had to wait a long time for aid money for reconstruction.
Now the payment should be accelerated, promises Minister Scharrenbach.
Dusseldorf - The people in the North Rhine-Westphalian flood areas should in future receive money from the aid fund for reconstruction more quickly. From now on, private individuals who have submitted an application for damage to the building will be paid 40 percent of the amount immediately upon approval, announced Construction Minister Ina Scharrenbach (CDU) on Friday in Düsseldorf. The household lump sum will now also be transferred directly with the benefit notification. So far, the first money has only flowed after the objection period has expired, which ends four weeks after receipt of the approval.
"In the future, a large sum will be paid out immediately, which you can work with," said Scharrenbach.
Another 30 percent of the service could be transferred if those affected submitted an interim statement.
The remaining 30 percent will be paid out at the end after the proof of use has been checked.
As of Thursday (January 13), around 11,500 applications for flood aid had been received, around 9,200 of which had been examined or already approved, the minister said.
A total of around 182 million euros have been approved, of which 117 million for private individuals and 65 million for municipal infrastructure.
A week earlier (January 7), the amount approved for private individuals was 99.5 million - of which 50 million euros had already been paid out by then, and another 20 million euros followed in the next few days.
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Half a year after the flood disaster, according to Stolberg Mayor Patrick Haas (SPD), there are still problems with flood aid in many places.
The examination of the very complex applications takes "longer than expected," said Haas on Friday in the "morning echo" of WDR 5. "Many people have the problem that they can't really get started." Not everyone has that much money without the flood aid to be able to make advance payments to craftsmen.
Kai Imsande, a volunteer flood helper in Swisttal (Rhein-Sieg district), also called for more speed in the payment.
"People are at their limit," he said.
"Everything has to be accelerated so that those affected have a perspective and can continue." Good communication between the authorities and the residents of the flooded regions is also important: "It's no use if buildings are rebuilt while the people are in front of them crumble," said Imsande.
Storms with unusually heavy rainfall triggered a flood disaster in Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia in mid-July.
Entire regions were devastated by the water masses.
According to initial estimates, damage of around 13 billion euros arose in North Rhine-Westphalia alone, and 49 people died.