Tallinn to offer additional benefits for residents in financial trouble

The City of Tallinn has developed additional social support measures for its residents who have either been left unemployed or are in financial difficulties due to the economic downturn caused by the emergency situation.

According to the Deputy Mayor responsible for the social welfare and healthcare sphere, Mrs. Betina Beškina, the COVID-19 caused emergency situation has affected the financial security and well-being of many families in Tallinn. „Many Talliners lost their stable income already during the emergency situation. We do not yet have an overview of the full impact of the coronavirus crisis on the national economy, but taking into account the forecasts, we are preparing for the fact that people's livelihood may significantly deteriorate and the need for assistance may increase,“ explained Beškina.

„That is why we have put together a package of additional support measures meant for the residents and families of Tallinn in financial difficulties. One of the measures is the substitution of school food packages with food assistance the families in financial difficulties for the summer. For the families and Talliners who have lost a place to live in, we wish to offer quick  housing. In addition, we offer rent support for the families and the residents of the city who have lost their home, or are about to lose it – we hope to help them back to the rental market with an aim to give the people and the families back their normal lives as much as possible.“

„The additional food packages are given to families with children where the net income for the first member of the family is below the current national minimum wage rate (€584), and 80% of the same rate for each additional member of the family. To get the package, one should turn to the social welfare department of the City District where the family is registered in. The city’s food package is meant as an addition to the packages given by the Food Bank. The packages are distributed by the City Districts’, one package is given per child weekly. The packages are distributed from July 1 - August 31.

The City will assist families who have lost their homes with temporary housing. The recipients of the support may be families with children, unemployed or victims of domestic violence who have nowhere to live. The applicants must meet special criteria of receiving social housing services.

In order to provide efficient and timely temporary accommodation, the city intends to conclude a framework contract with a few accommodation establishments, which are ready to welcome a person or a family if necessary. The form of the housing is short-term accommodation until a suitable rental apartment or another alternative solution is found, such as the provision of social housing. The measure will be initially implemented from September 1 until the end of 2020.

The third measure consists of supporting Talliners and especially families, who are not in need of temporary housing. The first rental payment and if necessary, the commission will be covered by the city, and the rent of the following months by the resources of the subsistence benefit. Again, the applicants of the support must meet the criteria of being eligible for the social housing, this means that they can not own property and their income has to show insufficient means for covering housing expenses. The measure will be implemented from September 1 until the end of the year.

The city has also come out with additional criteria for kindergarten fee reductions. Tallinn will support families in financial distress and families with children in special education groups by exempting them from paying the place fees.