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Germany: Court of Auditors criticizes excessive fees for refugee housing

The Federal Audit Office criticizes the fact that the public sector often has to bear excessive rental costs for the apartments of refugees and that the use of funds is not adequately controlled.

Bonn - Different analysis showed that "in the case of accommodation costs for refugees, the fees of local authorities were often well above the local rents for living spaces of a comparable size, often more than 100 percent", according to a statement for the budget committee of the Bundestag, about which Die Welt (Monday edition) reports. According to this, the local authorities have taken the "increased share of the federal government's funding" as an opportunity to increase their accommodation fees. In recent years, the federal government has steadily increased its contribution to the accommodation costs.

As the Federal Audit Office writes, its audits have revealed further inconsistencies: "Some municipal bodies also instructed the job centers not to check the appropriateness of the fees charged for accommodation". This was "clearly unlawful". The background to the current statement is the amendment to the Basic Law planned by the federal government, with which new constitutional bases are to be created to relieve the municipalities.

The change is intended to provide the municipalities with permanent support for accommodation and heating services with a higher cost share, without the supervision of the federal administration. In the run-up to the planned change in the law, a hearing in the budget committee of the Bundestag took place on Monday, for which the Federal Audit Office had written the opinion.

Photo: Reuters.

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