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Outdated rules for housing aid for refugees result in 25% of applications being denied


The House refugee committee heard testimony on Tuesday that the Displaced Persons Care and Rehabilitation Service rejects one-fourth of its applications and that the requirements for housing aid need to be updated.

Marios Mavrides, the deputy from Disy, brought forth a suggestion for the committee to consider about the relevant law. The ultimate goal is to invite the interior minister to come and discuss additional general concerns pertaining to laws, rules, and welfare plans.

Committee chair Nikos Kettiros told reporters following the meeting, “Following several complaints from the public, the committee has come to the conclusion that the procedures being followed are so problematic and convoluted that it becomes very difficult for many people to cope.” He further mentioned that because of the “traffic light system” that is in place for applications, almost all hierarchical appeals are also denied in addition to the 25% of applications that are refused.

This implies that an appeal will be turned down and that an application cannot be examined.

He also referred to various rejected cases, saying that while applications must be submitted within 12 months, planning or building permits are not issued in the same time.

“The state itself is delaying issuing the permits,” he said, “this is not the state we want”.

The committee intends on calling on the interior minister for discussions, he continued, as “We want the income criteria and sponsorship to increase, and to see how we can help people within the constitutional framework and not make it difficult for them”.

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Rita Superman, deputy director of Disy, stated that the requirements for housing assistance “clearly need revising” because they are out of date and do not accommodate the needs of the younger generation in terms of housing. “Rejecting applications for exceeding the limit with small amounts of money or for other unacceptable reasons makes no sense,” the spokesperson stated. “Aid for the children of refugees must be provided.” She also supported Mavrides’ idea, stating that despite raising the state budget, it is a positive move.

It ought to exert pressure on the government in order to increase the number of refugee children who receive this assistance.

Speaking about “territorial and obsolete schemes,” Dipa deputy Michalis Yiakoumis stated that he believed the income condition should not be in place. Yiakoumis stated that “we need to think hard about what to do with these schemes” since the public is calling for answers. “The policy on housing for refugees is not a social service.” The state has a right to provide housing support to displaced people and their children, he said. He remarked, “It is unacceptable that a young person’s salary today acts as a disincentive for them to be able to get housing assistance.”

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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