The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is preparing to further simplify the drawing of the housing allowance

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is preparing to further simplify the drawing of the housing allowance

MPSV is going to make it easier to draw the contribution on housing

The headquarters of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs in Prague, pictured on April 15, 2016.

Prague – The Ministry of Labor is preparing a further simplification of the drawing of the housing allowance. In order to receive the benefit, people would not have to document housing costs to the authorities twice a year, but only once. Deputy Minister of Labor Zuzana Freitas Lopesová (Pirates) said this at the conference on energy poverty in the House of Representatives. According to data from the Ministry of Labour, labor offices paid out over 229,900 housing allowances in January. The average dose was 4912 crowns. According to experts, more than half a million households could be eligible for support.

Advertisement'; }

Applicants complained about the complexity of handling the housing allowance. It was also criticized by experts on social issues. The Ministry of Labor tried to simplify the system last year. In the summer, it launched electronic submission of applications. It is enough to upload images of documents to the application, it is no longer necessary to submit certified copies. People had to apply for support repeatedly every year, and expenses had to be delivered four times a year, so queues regularly formed at employment offices. Last year's amendment changed that. The application is submitted only once and the costs are documented twice a year. A detailed breakdown of the items is not necessary.

“We are preparing another adjustment. We very much hope that we will be able to enforce the change (in documenting costs) only once a year, although it is not entirely easy,” said the deputy.

< p>Energy prices and other household expenses are rising. Last year, the government twice adjusted the so-called normative costs, which represent the ceiling for calculating the amount of the housing allowance. They have changed again since this year. Last January, the authorities paid out 143,500 contributions. The average dose was 3771 crowns. This year, 229,900 households received support in the first month. On average, they received 4,912 crowns. Housing allowance can be obtained by households for which 30 percent of their income is not enough to pay for adequate housing. The benefit corresponds to the difference between housing expenses up to the standards set by the state and 0.3 times income.

According to statistics, there are approximately 4.5 million households in the Czech Republic. According to the previous year's analysis of the initiative for housing, from the time before the sharp rise in prices, up to 350,000 households spent over two fifths of their income on an apartment. According to last year's study by the Platform for Social Housing, the Initiative for Housing, the Rainbow Movement and the University of Ostrava, before the energy crisis, roughly 900,000 people from half a million households were in so-called energy poverty. “At least half of the people who would qualify for the benefit do not yet receive it,” said the deputy.

According to the analyst of the initiative for housing, Jan Klusáček, the number of people who meet the conditions for receiving aid from the state may be due to price increases, but now significantly higher. “According to the current figures, there are up to 700,000 households that are entitled to the allowance,” said Klusáček.

The authors of the study recommend better targeting support such as benefits or discounts on energy to the needy. They also propose adjustments in the setting of subsidies for building modifications for energy savings.