The Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine has initiated a more equitable approach to the granting subsidies, which comes in effect on May 1, 2018. This decision is taken as part of the preparation for subsidy monetization, which involves receiving cash assistance and is planned to be implemented during the next heating season.
When applying the new criteria for subsidies, all those in need of assistance will continue to receive Government aid as before. The new rules for the appointment of housing subsidies won’t affect low-income people, pensioners or officially registered unemployed people.
Instead, the number of those applying for subsidies, having in fact incomes sufficient for paying for utilities, will be reduced. It is considered the absence of social justice the spending money of taxpayers, and even more so in the form of direct cash payments, to cover the maintenance of large homes for those who conceal their incomes, inefficient consumption.
At that, if earlier subsidy was prolonged for another period once a year in May and was different in size whether it is summer or winter, now, according to the new program of housing subsidies, the prolonging of subsidies will take place twice a year - in May and October. But for most households already benefitting from that assistance subsidies will be automatically reassigned, taking into account incomes for the previous two quarters.
To be eligible for obtaining a subsidy the following persons must submit application and declaration again:
• Internally displaced persons
• Families in which subsidy was granted taking into account actually living persons in the dwelling instead of all registered persons
• Families having unemployed members of working age who either lack incomes or get lower earning than the minimum wage
• Families in which there occurred changes in the composition during the last year
• Families which, as of May 2018, will have over two months' debt for housing and communal services and will not repay it until June 2018.
The Ministry of Social Policy does not plan, as a result, a significant reduction in the number of households benefitting from subsidies. However, owners of elite homes, new cars, and those working in the shadow economy will not be eligible for a subsidy now. Meanwhile, a possibility of granting subsidies through the decisions of relevant commissions will be further applied in cases when the household does not formally fall under the relevant criteria, but truly needs state assistance.
New rules for granting subsidies will allow the Govertnment to make the system of social support more targeted and fair and prevent abuses.