ROTTERDAM, 30 June 2023 – A new initiative to tackle financial worries, poverty, and debt among Rotterdam's residents has been unveiled. The plan, named 'Rotterdam for Everyone – United Against Poverty and Debt', is set to address these issues over the next few years.
Rotterdam's plan against poverty and debt
The rising energy prices and expensive groceries over the past year have affected many Rotterdammers, businesses, and institutions. An increasing number of Rotterdammers are facing financial worries or problematic debts. The city council, led by Alderman Enes Yigit, aims to tackle these issues with their new plan. The plan was presented on Thursday afternoon at Thuis in West, a community centre in the Middelland neighbourhood of Rotterdam.
Alderman Enes Yigit (Poverty Reduction, Debt Assistance, and Language) stated, “Together, we stand strong against poverty and debt. In Rotterdam, we have already embarked on the right path in terms of poverty reduction over the past few years. We aim to maintain what is good and add new elements. The priorities for the coming years are combating child poverty, making income support more accessible, and helping Rotterdammers out of debt. We cannot do this alone as a municipality, and therefore work closely with organisations in the city that prevent financial worries and support Rotterdammers in financial need.”
The plan places the highest priority on addressing child poverty. The successful family approach will be continued. This term, the aim is to reach 1,000 families in Bospolder-Tussendijken, Crooswijk, Tarwewijk, and Carnisse. The family approach brings stability to the financial situation of families, improves children's wellbeing, and provides hope for the future.
Rotterdam Residents at the Centre
The plan also aims to assist Rotterdammers as much as possible and reduce referrals. The application process for schemes will be simplified. An online advice module will be introduced, allowing Rotterdammers to easily see which income support schemes they are entitled to.
Helping Rotterdammers Out of Debt
In 2022, 5,109 Rotterdammers approached the municipality for help in resolving their debts. The plan aims to receive signals from Rotterdammers who are in trouble even earlier so that they can be helped more quickly.
The municipality is not alone in tackling and preventing poverty and debt. An important part of the approach is the collaboration with, connection between, and support of various partners, organisations, and volunteers in the neighbourhoods.
After the summer recess, the new policy framework will be discussed in the committee and council meeting.