Regional Platform Key to Housing (RPSW) was surprised last week by the message that the Eindhoven College of Mayor and Alderpersons wants to get rid of the way in which parent initiatives are financed.
These initiatives are mainly set up for people with autism and disabilities. Sheltered housing is care-intensive. In parent initiatives, parents or other caregivers came together to jointly arrange housing and care facilities for those in need. In this way, parents could shape the care for their children themselves.
The municipality of Eindhoven now wants to put an end to this. This would affect not only Eindhoven but the surrounding municipalities such as Waalre and Best as well. For those ‘heavily care dependent’, the measure could mean that they lose up to one thousand euros per month, says Van Spring-Helmig, says RPSW chairman Ellen van Sprang-Helmig.
End of funding
At RPSW they have been taken by surprise by the announcement to end the current financing, says Ellen van Sprang-Helmig, chairman of the foundation. “Last Monday we were told that the municipality intends to end the funding of parent initiatives in the current manner. This equates to a funding cut in general.”
“On Tuesday I called the clerk’s office to see if I could speak to the city council, but that was no longer possible. We are therefore not only surprised about the decision itself, which looks like a disguised cut, but also about the lack of participation on our part.”
The municipality of Eindhoven called in a research agency for a so-called ‘cost price study’. The conclusion of Bureau Berenschot was that it could be done in a different way.
At RPSW there are also question marks about that research. “I find it strange that none of us have been contacted as experts in this field for such an investigation. It is also not clear how the researchers arrived at their conclusions. The report has not been shared with the city council, and that is also a big question mark for us. It shows that the municipality is stuck in a kind of systems thinking, without thinking from the point of view of the person concerned: the person in need of care.”
The council wanted to implement the measure as a ‘formality’, where no debate is possible. Whether that succeeds is highly questionable. “I have heard from several council members that they would like to discuss it in the city council; that would be a good development for us.”
Nevertheless, the RPSW chairman is still not happy at the way things are going. “The administrative agreement mentions its intention to work based on trust in citizens. I have the impression that the municipality also wants to get rid of the collective purchase of care, as is done by parent initiatives, so that they can have a better idea of the expenditure per individual. That goes against the aims of the administrative agreement.”
Translated by: Shanthi Ramani