MP Oana Bîzgan submitted a legislative initiative today, which entails providing fiscal benefits to elderly people renting homes for students and for young adults leaving the protection system. Various categories of elderly people would be included, for instance the elderly with anticipatory pensions or partial anticipatory pensions. At the same time, the students and young adults that could benefit from this arrangement would have to be under 26 years old.
Concretely, the initiative entails an exemption from income tax for various categories of elderly people, according to the law in force, when they obtain income from renting living spaces to students and/or youth leaving the protection system. At the same time, the modification also entails an exemption of property taxes depending on the rented surface, according to the rental contract. The purpose of this legislative project is, on one side, to combat the isolation prevalent among elderly adults, especially when they retire. The initiator also wishes, through this proposal, to offer the chance to go to pre-university or university programs in big cities to students with difficult economic situations by providing accessible living spaces. Last but not least, this legislative initiative also has the purpose of providing a choice of living space for youth under 26 years old leaving the protection system. They can benefit from a living space with a competitive price but also from the support regarding gaining a sense of independence.
“The proposal came to being following complex analysis and it covers two directions of action. Firstly – the elderly, who usually own spacious properties in central areas of big cities, with easy access to public transportation. They are encouraged to share these living spaces with the youth. On the other side, the youth – students or young adults leaving the protection system – will have more options when it comes to living spaces, therefore changing the dynamic of the current market. Not to mention, this modification will also bring an increase in the competitiveness regarding the rental offers for this category of people.” declared MP Oana Bîzgan.
In Romania, in 2018, there were over 4.9 million elderly over 60 years old, according to the estimations of NSI. This represents 25% of the population of Romania. Following this data, as well as the context of the acceleration of the elderly population in the country, the state must find solutions for one of the most pressing problems the elderly face – isolation. At the same time, in many cases, the pension they receive is lower than the labour income of when they were actively working. Therefore, it is much harder for them to have the same lifestyle they have become used to. These factors can lead to serious health issues, physically and psychologically.
Another social aspect this initiative focuses on is the young adults who migrate to large university centers to continue their studies, which creates a high demand for living spaces, leading to an pronounced rise in the price of rental spaces. At the same time, the high prices do not reflect the quality of the offered services. Many times, young people have to share small spaces, in order to be able to cover the living costs. Under these conditions, it is not surprising that in 2017, Romania was number 1 regarding young adults with ages between 15 and 29, who lived in overcrowded spaces (65% compared to the European standard of 26,7%, according to Eurostat).
The proposal was supported by 50 MPs and Senators from all political parties, was submitted to the Senate and it will soon be under debate in specialists committees.
Oana Bîzgan is an MP and Young Global Leader, member of the Commission for Chance Equality for Women and Men. She is the head of a series of ambitious legislative initiatives, such as the law on street harassment, on raising the age when children from the protection system can be sent to resident-type centers, the establishment of a national registry of sex offenders, access to education for children without an ID, the punishment of moral harassment in the work place, but also modifications regarding the law on adoptions. More information on www.oanabizgan.com.