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Unemployment in Austria is still relatively high at 6.7% in June of 2021

Salzburg to set up Covid-hardship fund to help with evictions and energy poverty

Salzburg to set up Covid-hardship fund to help with evictions and energy poverty

While unemployment is still relatively high, the city wants to offer a safety net to the most vulnerable

Last week, the Austrian city of Salzburg announced a new Covid-hardship fund aimed at people who had been severely affected by the economic conditions spurred on by the pandemic. The fund will help people facing eviction notices or outstanding energy bills.

Local authorities will finance the aid, and Caritas Salzburg will help with the administrative burden associated with handing out the subsidies.

Mitigating the post-pandemic damage

According to a forecast by the European Commission, Austria has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures with economic damages comparable to those after World War II. The document also predicts a strong rebound and even further growth in 2021, bolstered by the EU recovery plan.

However, not everyone is recovering at the same rate. Despite gradual and consistent fall, unemployment is still relatively high, sitting at 6.7% in July, according to Trading Economics, a data and statistics agency.

The city, on the other hand, claims that a lot of people have had to resort to short-term work to be able to cover income losses. Job instability, high rent prices and the continued uncertainty surrounding the future of the pandemic situation has led many people to situations where they are unable to manage their costs independently.

With the new fund, the City of Salzburg aims to help citizens threatened with evictions or power cuts. The financial support offer is in the form of a one-time grant covering either rent or energy bills. The fund can cover up to half of the rent costs without exceeding 2,000 euros per household, while the electricity is capped at 200.

The city will provide the total 200,000 euro that the Covid-hardship fund will need, and Caritas Salzburg will cover fund allocation, application reviews and social counselling.

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