From the Social Welfare area of the City Council of La Laguna they are detecting a trend of increased arrival of population from other municipalities that demand social attention in La Laguna. Thus, the councilor responsible for the area, Rubens Ascanio, explains that “we are perceiving, through the reports that the collaborating entities send us and those that our own social workers pass on to us, as well as through the new computer system, of this type of situations, in which it seems that one of the reasons for changing the municipality has to do with social care”.
Cases, for example, of “people who arrive in precarious conditions, without having a specific dwelling, or who have to register on the spot because they are already in a specific one, sometimes in spaces that do not meet many conditions, sometimes in the street or in apartments where they share with other people… Or situations of people registered in other municipalities and who request accommodation resources in La Laguna, people especially in street situations who in the end move to La Laguna, after a transit in other municipalities”, and that are becoming “increasingly frequent”, points out the mayor.
A trend that is being perceived especially since COVID-19 and its consequent economic and social crisis, which has caused “many people to lose their usual place of residence or their job and in the end they have moved and have looked for other places where reside, or it has been recommended to them, because we have also found situations in which entities or organizations recommend this mobility to them”, Ascanio points out.
The origin is from all the municipalities of the Island, although especially from Santa Cruz because “they are fluid territories and obviously there are many people who maintain their lives in this environment, because there are also more opportunities for employment or to make a living, and that reality it is and will be”, indicates the councilman. In addition, he recalls that “practically half of the people who are homeless in Tenerife are in the metropolitan area, and obviously this flow occurs.” That is why both municipalities “share commissions on the issue of homeless people, in which they are working on this floating population.”
To this we must add that, in addition, they are also noticing how in situations of “mass evictions” that are taking place in areas of the South coast, “many of that population that lived in those precarious nuclei or in large occupied developments that are evicted , is also moving to La Laguna, where social services are taking charge of providing them with help”.
In fact, according to the latest Cáritas report on social exclusion and poverty, from the second half of 2020, at that time they located a total of 195 people in a situation of residential exclusion in La Laguna, of which only 33% were registered. in the town.
Ascanio admits that he is concerned that this phenomenon of attraction “will increase over time”, although, “we understand that the resources of the different municipalities will also keep pace with this reality”, and points out that, this greater demand in the municipality ” It also talks about the fact that we are making an effort in La Laguna in relation to social care, an effort that will continue beyond 2023”.
In this sense, the person in charge of Social Welfare highlights that “in items that have to do with the social we have an expense of 170 euros per inhabitant and year”, which is almost double “compared to what was in 2018, which was the last budget of the previous Corporation, when they had an expense of around 90 euros per inhabitant and year”.
In this regard, the mayor, Luis Yeray Gutiérrez, adds that “strengthening social policies has been one of the priority commitments of this government group during this mandate.” “It must be remembered that this year’s budget for social services exceeds 24 million euros, which represents an increase of more than 51% since 2019,” he adds.
For the mayor, this economic investment has translated into “better attention to the people and groups that need it most and a positioning of the City Council of La Laguna as a reference administration on the Island in social matters,” he emphasizes.
Regarding the new accommodation resources, Ascanio points out that “we have made a great effort in this mandate to separate ourselves from the traditional hostel model, with a large space where there is simply a resource to sleep and shower”, in clear reference to the existing one in the municipality neighbor of Santa Cruz, the only one of its kind in Tenerife, and which also causes a large population to end up going to the capital.
Specifically, the network of Temporary Municipal Accommodation Resources (RAMT) of La Laguna already has 7 supervised apartments for different profiles and the Clemencia Hardisson center for people in a situation of housing exclusion, which add up to a total of 75 places, which represents a increase of 257%, in two years, of the public services enabled in La Laguna to offer temporary accommodation to people who lack residence or a stable address, who do not have the personal and economic resources to face their situation and who are in a situation exclusion or social vulnerability.
In addition, the accommodation resources are accompanied by individualized comprehensive care programs and a wide network of procedures, training activities and skills and competencies workshops aimed at promoting their social integration and the recovery of their autonomy.
Added to this is the Municipal Alternative Accommodation Service, which has a total of ten municipally owned homes to provide an emergency response to families in La Laguna in a situation of social exclusion and who have been evicted from their homes, or with upcoming launch, and which include, in addition to a socio-labour insertion program, the discount for the Social Welfare area of most of the cost of rent, so that the beneficiaries pay a minimum monthly rent of 50 euros.
And to this we must add the public network of rental aid for people with sudden difficulties in meeting this expense in their homes, which in 2021 alone represented an investment of almost 800,000 euros from the City Council, and which this year is increased by 65%. the amount allocated.
Likewise, the mayor points out that, “just a few days ago we began the process to be able to have a public housing stock, with which to meet the enormous demand that we find ourselves in. There are three million euros for the promotion and management of public housing, which are added to the 800,000 euros of the municipal rental aid program. These are figures that very clearly reflect the will of this Government to continue fulfilling our commitment to the citizens of La Laguna”.
Specifically, two million are to acquire homes available in the private market, for which a call has been opened through the Muvisa website, and the other million will be for the creation of 16 modular homes in Geneto, “which I hope that we will have them available before the end of the year”, adds Ascanio, who details that, “since the land where they are located has a large area, we hope to have homes and spaces adapted to pets, because in the end the profile of a single person in eviction or at risk, and with a pet, is becoming more and more common”.