Minister: Money won't solve all Ukraine refugee housing problems

Minister of Public Affairs Riina Solman (Isamaa).
Minister of Public Affairs Riina Solman (Isamaa). Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Estonia's Ministry of Finance will be allocating more funding with which to support local governments in supporting war refugees from Ukraine with emergency care and housing. According to Minister of Public Administration Riina Solman (Isamaa), however, money alone won't solve all refugee housing-related problems.

Under a proposal by the Ministry of Finance, the Estonian government's dedicated reserve will be supplemented with an additional €5.5 million, enabling the ministry to use the money to support local governments in providing emergency care and offering housing to war refugees from Ukraine, the ministry said in a press release.

Funding for the provision of emergency care to and the reimbursement of accommodation costs in connection with war refugees was planned to be directed into the government reserve with the 2022 supplementary budget passed this spring.

According to Solman, these funds are now being added to the reserve's list of activities as a technical arrangement, which will allow for the money to be applied for and allocated on a routine basis.

"Our interest is that the money reaches local governments and those spending areas most urgently in need right now as soon as possible," she said.

According to the minister, many local governments are currently in a situation where they need to find housing for refugees from Ukraine for an unknown period of time.

"It's been discussed that the support being given to local governments should go toward helping housing be prepared, and toward adapting state-owned spaces into living quarters, but not all municipalities have enough such spaces," she said. "The state needs to better consider and organize the entire housing matter as a whole."

As the housing of refugees from Ukraine entails various concerns, Solman continued, "In addition to money, local governments need more solutions and support from the state specifically."

The Estonian government made a decision regarding the supplementation of its reserve on Thursday, the Ministry of Finance noted, adding that more precise solutions for utilizing these funds are currently being developed.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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