Housing and work will help homeless people transition into society faster, Source: Nafsika G / Unsplash

Homeless people can get two years of rent covered by the city of Thessaloniki

Homeless people can get two years of rent covered by the city of Thessaloniki

The new social scheme is aimed at helping people to transition into independent living

Last week, the municipality of Thessaloniki in Greece announced a new scheme aimed at the homeless. The scheme is called Στέγαση και Εργασία (Housing and Work). It involves the city covering the costs of renting an apartment on behalf of a homeless person for two years.

According to an official statement, during that time people will have the constant support of social services so they can transition into stable employment. Essentially, this would be a jumping-off point for people experiencing homelessness to become independent and reintegrate into society.

A transition period

The programme will be open to people who are already part of Thessaloniki’s social services, with the support of the Greek Ministry of Labour. Essentially, authorities offer to pay for two years’ worth of rent and bills for a person or family.

In the third year, the city will foot 75% of the costs, while in the fourth year, applicants can apply for standard social benefits. Applicants will have to undergo continuous evaluation by social authorities to ensure they are self-sufficient and able to work to transition to an independent life.

So far, there have been 32 apartments rented out under the scheme and authorities are looking for an additional nine to host the rest of the applicants and their families. According to an official statement, this would be a win-win - homeowners who want to take part will get at least two years of guaranteed rent.

On the other hand, it could help to reduce the homeless problem in Thessaloniki, helping people to get off the street and offering them a stable lifeline to reintegrate into society.



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