Geneva launches pilot scheme to help those who cannot afford rent
As of June 1, the residents of Geneva will be able to seek financial assistance if they are unable to pay their rent. The project, named Domos, is funded by a number of local institutions and can help tenants stay in their rental properties, at a time when people across Swiss cantons are struggling financially.
COVID-19 partly to blame for financial pressures
A lot of people in Switzerland are seeking financial advice or social security payments to help them get back on their feet, after two years of economic uncertainty. For some, it has been difficult to find a new career in Switzerland, after the COVID-19 pandemic led to a large number of people losing their jobs. These financial issues have been exacerbated by the rising cost of living and surges in energy and fuel prices.
The Domos scheme aims to help tenants by giving them a one-time financial support payment that they will not have to pay back. From June 1, application forms for these payments will be sent alongside official notices informing tenants that rent has not been paid, the Genevan government explained.
Thierry Apothéloz, State Councillor in charge of social cohesion, said that the motivations for the scheme included concerns about “the situation of the tenants” and the wellbeing of “vulnerable people [that] have been made [financially] precarious, and have exhausted all their resources.”
Project aims to help lower middle class affected by the pandemic
State Councillor Antonio Hodgers said that COVID had highlighted the plight of many local residents and "the social collapse that [a pandemic] can quickly cause." The project is funded by a private foundation in Geneva and will be piloted across the city for around two years.
The new scheme is aimed at supporting those who have too high an income to claim existing emergency welfare, but who are still facing financial difficulties. In order to stop people from losing their houses and apartments, Apothéloz stressed the need "to act preventively.” Adding to this, Christophe Aumeunier, Secretary-General of the Geneva Real Estate Chamber, said that when it comes to losing homes, "It is better to prevent than to cure.”
For more information on the scheme, please consult the Geneva government website.