Some 3,000 refugees will be offered temporary accommodation at city apartments, Athens Mayor Yiorgos Kaminis said on Wednesday, following a meeting with UNHCR representative Philippe Leclerc.
The municipality has agreed with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to allot 200 fully-equipped flats that can each host up to six tenants to refugees/asylum seekers, including EU relocation candidates currently living in the Greek capital.
Mr Kaminis stressed that the City of Athens will continue to work towards securing humane living conditions for refugees and in parallel ensure that the city is functioning in an orderly manner, adding that the municipality has since last year submitted a proposal for the use of Elaionas as a refugee accommodation facility.
The UNHCR will select and forward the applications of beneficiaries who wish to be included in the relocation scheme that fulfill the prerequisites.
“The Municipality of Athens is the first city with which UNHCR is cooperating to provide temporary accommodation to refugees,” said Mr Leclerc, praising the Greek people’s support and highlighting the need for cooperation between local administration and civil society.
Public utilities services and shared maintenance expenses will be covered by the city’s Athens Development and Destination Management Agency (ADDMA). Specialized staff will be hired to monitor the living conditions and ensure the apartments remain in good condition. Rules and regulations will be put in place. The city will also provide food through pre-paid cards or vouchers for supermarkets set at 90 euros per month per person. There will also be a monthly provision of hygiene items through pre-paid cards or vouchers set at 10 euros for females and 5 euros for males. Interpreters, social workers and relevant professionals will be available to provide guidance and support. Finally, the Municipality of Athens will provide social/medical services and aid through its own facilities.
Apartment owners or real estate agencies interested in joining the city’s program can find more information on cityofathens.gr