Published On: Thu, Aug 2nd, 2012

Agreement tackles problems of families having debts

KRALENDIJK — Pilot project ‘Perspective on Sound Living’ will soon start on Bonaire. The purpose of this project is to have the collection problems of the FCB entirely under control within three years. The project will also help families coping with other problems besides debts and attempt to solve these problems. The Public Body Bonaire (OLB) and Fundashon Cas Boneriano (FCB) with support from the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK), housing institute Aert Sweans and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment (SWZ) recently signed the agreement ‘Perspective on Sound Living’.

The agreement was concluded to solve the debt problems of many families on Bonaire, especially rent arrears. Also many tenants with the FCB have huge rent arrears. They are not able to pay their rent or the arrears. The rent arrears still amount to 550,000 dollars despite intensive collection attempts the past four years.

To keep the houses affordable, the OLB is prepared to make rent subsidy available on a structural basis for the financially-weak. A social net will be created for those confronted with huge social problems. However, the collection problem of the FCB requires a lasting, integral and specific solution that considers the various categories of tenants. ‘Perspective on Sound Living’ is meant to get the collection problems under control and create a lasting solution for the future. To accomplish this, families, government and FCB will work on a communal approach of the problem. Appointments will be made with banks and other financers to discuss their share in reducing the problems.

The project mainly focuses on the group receiving relief and coping with debts and tenants of the FCB with an income below 1550 dollars. Before October 1st 2012, all households in mentioned categories should be charted and an analysis made of the family situation and the problems. In certain cases this could lead to cancellation of the rent arrears and possible debts with WEB (water and electricity) for those unable to work and those with an AOV, in combination with a decision on the relief to pay the rent.

A payment agreement can be made for tenants with an income below 1550 dollars per month and minor debts, and a decision on relief or wage is possible. The collection process will be started for non co-operating parties, possibly followed by evacuation.

Families coping with additional problems and debts will receive counseling on sound living. Before March 1st 2015 all households in mentioned categories must be visited and agreements must be made.

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