Romanians Hosting Ukrainian Refugees Complain of Delay in Payments
Romanians hosting Ukrainian refugees say they did not receive any promised financial subsidies from the government in the last two months, in January and February.
According to official statistics, around 73,000 Ukrainian refugees are currently sheltering in Romania following the Russian invasion of Ukraine starting on February 24, 2022.
The government subsidizes the housing of Ukrainian refugee families through the "50/20 Program." Each host receives 50 Romanian lei [10 euros] daily for rent and another 20 lei [4 euros] for the accommodation and meals of each refugee he or she hosts.
In December, the last time the government made the payments, it paid out almost 160 million euros [32 million euros]. Authorities blame bureaucratic hurdles for the delays in money reaching the property owners.
At the start of this year, the media reported on possible changes to the subsidy program from the government's Reserve Fund.
It was mooted that subsidies for meals and accommodation for Ukrainian refugees would now be made conditional on the employment of adults and the enrollment of children in school.
Money for the accommodation of Ukrainian refugees would no longer be set per person, but a total of 2,000 lei per month [400 euros] set aside per family.
For a refugee family of three, the state currently pays a subsidy of 6,300 lei per month [about 1,575 euros]. Owners do not pay taxes on these sums from the state for hosting.
It has become a profitable business for some real estate owners who rent properties for this purpose. Real estate sites and social networks are full of ads for renting such spaces. In addition to individuals who rent such accommodation, hoteliers also take advantage of the situation.
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