Girona (Editorial Office / Agencies) .- A total of 165 Gerona residents welcomed in 2014 the option of changing debts for work for the benefit of the community. The Girona City Council received 235 applications, of which 70 were excluded. Of the 165 remaining, a total of 102 has already completed their task forming part of one of the municipal brigades , such as cemeteries or gardening. To qualify for this option, a report that determines that the person is insolvent is mandatory. The 102 Gironans who have completed these tasks owed 181,000 euros to the town hall – the majority for traffic fines or sanctions of the civility ordinance – which means an average of 1,775 euros per person.
According to the memory of the area of Services to People, a total of 235 citizens asked to be able to do work to forgive debts. To qualify for this option, however, two essential requirements are needed: be registered in Girona and a Social Services report that specifies that the person is insolvent. As explained by the Councilor for Social Services, Eduard Berloso, this measure is very well received by the beneficiaries as they are people who have an interest in ending debts but are unable for economic reasons.
To calculate how many hours each person must do, it is done at the rate of the calculation that each hour of work is 15 euros. The majority of the defaults are for fines of circulation and also for sanctions of the ordinance of civility (like drinking in the street, urinating, causing disturbances or walking the dog without tying, among others). The average profile of who receives this measure is from a person in the environment of 35 years. Of the 102 Gironans who have already completed their work for the benefit of the community, more than half have done so helping the brigade of cemeteries, and also in other work related to gardening, libraries, painting or in the Huertas de Santa Eugenia.
One million for housing subsidies
In the 2014 report on the area of Services to People, the Councilor for Social Services has highlighted the aid for different aspects related to housing. The city council has allocated 657,000 euros to help 300 families who could not pay the rent. These are citizens who live in private apartments -not in social housing- and who go to the consistory because they see that they will not be able to face the monthly payment (the city council calls it fair rent aid). Apart, 63,500 euros have also been allocated to other specific aid.
The Girona City Council has also had to face some payments that citizens living for rent in municipal apartments have not been able to pay. In total, they have assumed the cost of 149,850 euros of unpaid rent receipts and has acted in the mediation of people that the bank has granted the dation in payment to be able to stay in their apartment and avoid being evicted. In these cases, he has forgiven them the payment of the surplus value, which means that he has stopped paying -according to municipal data- 180,000 euros. The councilor stressed that, adding all these concepts, the session has allocated 1,050,000 euros to issues related to housing.
During 2014, Social Services received 2,191 applications from Girona citizens who could not pay electricity, gas or water bills, 596 more than a year ago. The demand to buy medicines also grows: from the 1,932 applications of 2013 to the 2,395 of 2014.
The Girona City Council has allocated a scholarship for dining room that the Generalitat has ceased to assume. “Our commitment has always been that all children in the city have at least one balanced meal a day and that is why we have made this effort,” said the councilor of Social Services. During 2014, 481 grants of this type have been granted, earmarking a total of 101,000 euros. Likewise, 50,000 euros have been allocated to the meat plan, which serves to distribute meat to families in need during the summer, when children no longer go to school.
During 2014 the number of beneficiaries of the Food Distribution Center (CDA) has also grown. If 6,106 people attended in 2013, a year later the figure rises to 7,321 (which means about 2,430 families served).