During the Second theme debate: Improvements in the rules surrounding benefits and the entrepreneurs hit hardest by the pandemic we (together with the PvdA) asked for more information about why the alderman wanted to wait for a trial in Tilburg before changing local policy concerning cohabitation without affecting someone’s benefits in Zwolle.
The alderman sent the following information (in Dutch) a few days later:
After reading that the assumptions made by the alderman were partly based on experiences Zwolle had in the 70’s and 80’s and taking into account the arguments he made about the other limiting factors for people with benefits who want to live together. For example losing your home and not being able to go back if the attempt at living together fails , we decided to write a motion:
The City Council of Zwolle in session on November 11, 2022 during the Debate on the budget 2023.
Noting that :
- Living together is a big step for any relationship.
- It is an even bigger step for persons with benefits for various reasons.
- Everyone should have a chance to see if cohabitation is a wise move without immediate loss of income or home.
- Previous experiences with trial periods of cohabitation without immediate loss of benefits in the municipality of Zwolle date from the 1970s and 1980s.
- There are more factors than keeping your benefits alone that prevent persons with benefits from daring to take the step of cohabitation.
- Waiting until the trial in Tilburg is completed at the end of 2023 means a standstill for the situation in Zwolle.
- Persons who ultimately continue to live together successfully are more likely to find their place in society and promote through-flow in the housing market.
- The government should act more from trust.
- The alderman indicated during the Oct. 31 debate that he sees greater thresholds in loss of other factors than loss of benefits, for example loss of home.
Requests the alderman to :
- To develop its own trial or pilot to enable recipients of benefits who wish to live together to do so while retaining certainties (like housing, or benefits) for a specified bridging period.
- To send this proposal to the council no later than May 1, 2023
The motion above passed last Friday! I’m keen to see what the alderman is going to propose and what the effect will be. I’ll keep you updated.