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Germany: African Asylum seekers in Bavaria forced to pay up to 12,000 euros for poor accommodation in asylum homes

Thousands of African asylum seekers in Bavaria, Germany are forced to pay high rates for staying in asylum homes especially in Bavaria. They are sent fee notices for their accommodation several months later and sometimes they receive help from others who empathise with their situation, asylum helpers say.

The fee notices are sent by the government of Lower Franconia (RvU), the competent authority for all of Bavaria. The local press office told SW that “currently 9,535 fee-based household associations” are housed in Bavaria’s state accommodation.

Since the asylum accommodation is financed from taxes, “The state is obliged to deal with taxpayers’ money economically and sparingly,” the RvU said in a statement.

Retroactive fees hit asylum seekers

The retroactive fees have been applied to several asylum seekers in the Ebersberg district, asylum helpers told SW. Marlies Froneberg, one of the asylum helpers told of a case where an asylum seeker is required to pay 8,000 euros. Most of these asylum seekers, like Johnny Adunbis, one of the Africans in Germany who has been living in the Ebersberg district since 2014 are not financially stable, therefore cannot afford to pay such fees.

A monthly flat rate of 300 euros per person was previously charged until May 2018 before the norm was changed to reduce the fee. The fee to pay normally decreases depending on the number of people sharing an accommodation.

Paying higher fees for poor accommodation

The conditions in the asylum homes are also not quite as homely. Mould is said to ‘grace’ the walls and there is also the lack of privacy due to too the many roommates and hardly any stable room dividers save for tattered curtains or make-shift walls, but most asylum seekers are just happy to have housing.

The government of Lower Franconia, told SZ that the authority offers instalment payments while the other option is to contact the social welfare office and apply for the payment of the fees there. It is important for this request to be made in the same month one receives the notification otherwise they lose the right to do so.

“The recipients are informed several times, both in every cost notification as well as in an explanatory accompanying letter, of the necessity of submitting the application to the job centre/social welfare office on time,” the RvU press office told SW.

Source: SZ,