February 3, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Municipality of Athens: free houses for the “lucky ones”

Today, Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis presented a comprehensive program that can be implemented immediately to provide social housing to vulnerable groups in the capital.

The Mayor of Athens presented to Minister of Labor Kostis Hatzidakis a program to provide affordable social (yet quality) housing to vulnerable groups in the capital, to be financed from existing funds.

As you know, Athens is faced with an acute problem of the homeless, and an even greater risk of an increase in the streets of the city of “young homeless”, i.e. people who, due to a sharp increase in rents and inflation, can no longer pay the cost of housing, which is much higher than acceptable average in relation to income.

The proposal presented by the Mayor of Athens to Mr. Hatzidakis calls for an immediate revision of the Estia (“Εστία”) programme, which has so far dealt with asylum seekers, and to which new categories of beneficiaries will now be added, which include:

  • unemployed youth with a focus on the 15-29 age group,
  • young low-income families
  • the elderly and especially those who live alone and have a low income,
  • students from low-income families (who cannot be accommodated in dormitories).

Of these groups, special attention will be paid to the socially vulnerable. In addition to the direct beneficiaries, the program of the Municipality of Athens aims to maintaining the balance of rents for housing in the city.

The proposal, presented by the Mayor of Athens and reportedly positively received by the Labor Minister, includes specific financial instruments. And as an executive body, EATA (The Tourism Development and Promotion Company of the Municipality of Athens) is proposed, which has been implementing the Estia program since 2016 with the provision of comprehensive housing services in rented apartments and today manages more than 400 apartments, offering a total complexity of 8,000 housing units.

“Revitalizing the housing situation in the center of Athens, by attracting young couples and students through the provision of affordable housing, has been our priority from the very beginning. We are adjusting our plan under the weight of a great social need to support “here and now” hundreds of our vulnerable fellow citizens. We will use all the “tools” and all our strength to support them. The Municipality of Athens already has a wide support network to ensure that no one is left alone. In the same thoughtful and efficient manner, we will create the new safety net that Athens needs,” Mr. Bakoyannis said after meeting with the labor minister. dikaiologitika.gr.

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