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Homeless subsidies falling on deaf ears

The Department of Social Development and Welfare is pushing housing subsidies for homeless people as fewer than 100 people have registered for the scheme over the past year, according to Minister of Social Development and Human Security Varawut Silpa-archa.

The scheme covers half of their apartment rent, he said on Tuesday.The subsidy is a joint project by the department and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation. The department also provides training for homeless people and helps them to find work.

The main condition for registering is that the applicant must be homeless, and the rental cost of the apartment must fall in the range of 2,000-3,000 baht a month.

Mr Varawut said the apartment can be a private property or government housing.

“The scheme has already been running for a year, but fewer than 100 homeless people have registered to receive the rent subsidies. Many of those who received this support have reportedly returned to normal life and are no longer claiming the subsidies because they are employed,” he said.

The minister added the number of homeless people is increasing, especially in Bangkok. Many are part-time workers who lack a stable income.

The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security aims to assist homeless people to land jobs and have stable incomes so they don’t revert to living on the streets.

Mr Varawut said he would meet Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt next week to discuss the situation and update him on the homeless population.

The ministry aims to reduce the number of homeless people in Bangkok and major cities across the country, and Mr Varawut said all Thai people should be able to afford housing and enjoy a better quality of life by 2036.

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