New rules on rental aid in Catalonia exclude retirees


"The majority of pensioners, around 80%, who received in Catalonia those known as MIFO grants from the Ministry of Development to pay the rent, will be without them next year", denounce 20 minutes two workers of the Agència d'Habitatge de Catalunya, an agency of the Generalitat that manages all existing housing subsidies.

They point out as motives changes in the requirements that beneficiaries must meet and in the calculation of their annual income, some modifications that the Government has introduced, responsible for drafting the regulatory bases for the concession even if the budget comes from the central government.

Like other years, One of the conditions to access these grants is that the annual income of the families is sufficient to pay the rent. To confirm this, the general tax base of the income statement is taken into account, a figure that arises from subtracting from gross income withholdings and deductions.

But nevertheless, other years, if this did not cover the annual rental amount, the annual gross income or complementary income could be contemplated that applicants could prove through a responsible statement. The new regulatory bases have eliminated these two possibilities.

This change It is especially harmful to pensioners with less income because their tax base is low, as they tend to have more deductions, for dependents and for disabilities. But not only this sector of the population is affected, but also people with more precarious incomes, whose tax base is not enough to cope with rent.

"It gives the paradox that the lower the income of families, the more difficult they have to access subsidies", point out the two employees of l'Agència d’Habitatge.

In this year's call there are cases such as that of an applicant with a gross income of 6,200 euros a year and that has to take care of a rent of 4,068 euros per year. As after many deductions, your tax base in the income statement is 553 euros, you will be denied help because it does not cover the amount of housing.

However, to another applicant, with more than 14,000 euros gross of income and with a tax base of 9,542 euros, will be granted the subsidy, because this last amount exceeds 7,212 euros per year of rent that you have to face.

Another obstacle to accessing these grants in the last call is that a new requirement has been introduced to qualify for them. Families must have an annual income equal to or greater than 0.6 times the Sufficiency Income Indicator of Catalonia (IRSC), which is 7,967.73 euros per year. This means that your tax base must be higher than 4,780.64 euros, which further limits access to these grants to the poorest families.

However, when the annual amount of the rent is less than 0.6 times the IRSC, applicants can apply for these grants if their tax base is higher than the rental value. This can not exceed 750 euros per month in the demarcation of Barcelona.

The workers of Agència d’Habitatge explain that The resolution of the applications has not yet been communicated to the applicants – the presentation period was from April 16 to June 7 – but when studying them they have realized that "many of the people who have been receiving these grants for years, this time they will be revoked."

He budget of the Ministry of Development for these grants amounts to 20 million euros in 2019.

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