Today during my volunteer work with the Red Cross, a family showed me a paper from the City of Cologne. The paper says they owe money for time living in a Red Cross home, which they did not choose (the city placed them there and they lived there about 9 months). The family comes from Syria and has 1-year Subsidiärer Schutz.
My question is, can somebody clarify for me when or why refugees must pay money to live in a government shelter? The type of fee, I think, is called Benutzungsgebühr.
I will also try to search for information myself. However, I asked some other refugee families I know who have a status, and they claimed they have never heard of this.
If anybody can help clarify or offer information, I would be very grateful. Thank you!
Hello @Eme - nice to hear from you again!
For me this is the first time that I hear about this as well. But I did some research and found the following article (German language):
It basically says that some refugees in Bavaria have to pay fees for accommodation and catering (retroactively and ongoing) if they had (or still have) a job whilst being in the camp. This article lists how other federal states like Berlin, Bremen, Saarland or Thuringia handle the situation:
(German language) rbb-online.de/kontraste/ar...
So it could be that North Rhine-Westphalia has a similar rule that they didn't tell anybody about.
The first article states that refugees that received such a letter can file an objection, but the chances for a successful outcome seem to be low.