Bea is 26 years old and has three girls. She separated from her husband two years ago and since then lives in a small room in Ciudad Lineal . To survive he has two temporary jobs. Clean houses and take care of the elderly. However, the salary does not reach him and that is why he asked the Madrid City Council for financial assistance. The Consistory, through Social Services , granted a monthly amount to the girls' school canteen. Although Bea says she is satisfied with the help, she does not know how long she will have it, for months she has heard that they are being reduced.
In a similar uncertainty is Pedro and his wife Mayra. The couple, who lives in Villaverde Alto , receives about 200 euros each month for food and rent of their home. None have a job and are parents of two children under 10 years old. "Those of us who receive help know each other and it is true that we have heard that budgets are being reduced," they say.
But the comments that families have heard are not far from reality. Official data of the Madrid City Council , which has been accessed by EL MUNDO through the open data portal, confirms that between January and September of 2019, the aid had a reduction compared to the same period of 2018. That year, the entity delivered 5.1 million euros in the 21 districts of the capital . Now, the picture is different, since this year 4.8 million euros have been delivered. Although the reduction is not high, statistics show that 15 districts were affected in recent months as mayor of Manuela Carmena. (See info)
The City Council has not reported the reason for the decrease in these grants, but has indicated that care for vulnerable families is carried out normally. It has even indicated that aid continues under the provisions of the municipal ordinance, issued in September 2004 . The document establishes a list of up to nine types of aid that the Consistory may grant to low-income or vulnerable families. Among these contributions are needs for accommodation, food, care for the elderly, small repairs of homes, dining room for the elderly, nursery school, school canteen, preventive activities for less at risk of exclusion and help to obtain glasses, hearing aids, etc.
Representatives of the Anti-Eviction Platforms also know this reality and comment that there are more and more cuts in these grants. However, they admit that today they continue to provide incentives to families who have rental debts after not being able to meet the payments. What they do say is that both the central government and the City Council must empower social services so that more aid is granted to people in need. Especially in popular neighborhoods.
City Hall helps vulnerable families districts
Vallecas is one of these and in 2018 he received 672,987 euros in aid. This year also reflects a reduction of almost 80,000 euros . Alberto is a neighbor of the district and says he also enjoys a social assistance of 150 euros for rent. However, he says that this amount does not benefit him much and that he has asked for an increase. She is currently awaiting the visit of a social worker to analyze her case and assess her situation. "I don't understand much how aid is set, but there are people who receive more than others with similar characteristics," he says.
But the City Council defends its accreditation process and ensures that the amounts are established according to a series of criteria . "In such differences, demographic indicators, urban development and welfare needs of the population must be taken into account."
In fact, the distribution lists of the aid details that there are from 5 euros to 12,474 euros . The data also shows that the most benefited districts are Latina, Puente de Vallecas, Villaverde and Carabanchel .
THE PROCESS TO REQUEST A HELP
To obtain financial assistance from the City Council, the applicant must meet several requirements . Among them is to present documents that prove your identity and your age of majority, be registered in Madrid and prove your situation of need. In this last factor, a social worker will analyze the need of the family and the possible solution of the problem. This technical evaluation is carried out based on economic income , the number of people that make up the family, ages, etc. Then, that evaluation must be approved by social services. In total, the process can take about 15 days . In the event that the case is a "social emergency", the process will be resolved within a maximum of five calendar days from the entry of the documentation.
What should be taken into account is that the financial aid will cover a maximum of 90% of the cost of the subsidized service . The rest must be provided by the beneficiary, except in social emergency aid or especially serious situations. This is how in 2018, 13,316 families benefited in the capital.
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