Thai welfare department pushes for more ‘home-run’ support as homeless program stalls

Photo: Istock.

The Thai Department of Social Development and Welfare is advocating for increased housing subsidies for the homeless, following a year in which fewer than 100 individuals signed up for the programme, revealed Varawut Silpa-archa, the Minister of Social Development and Human Security.

This joint initiative of the department and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation allows for half of the participants’ apartment rent to be covered. Alongside this financial aid, the department is also dedicated to aiding the homeless population with job training and employment opportunities.

To be eligible for the housing subsidies, applicants must indeed be homeless and the rent for their chosen apartment should fall within the 2,000 to 3,000 baht monthly bracket. Varawut Silpa-Archa clarified that both private properties and government housing are acceptable living arrangements under this initiative.

“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.”

Furthermore, he highlighted the rising number of homeless people, particularly in Bangkok, with a majority being part-time workers without a steady income. The main goal of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security is to provide these individuals with employment opportunities and steady incomes, preventing a return to the streets.

In the coming week, Varawut Silpa-archa plans to converse with Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt about the current situation and provide updates on the homeless population, reported Bangkok Post.

The ministry’s ultimate aim is to decrease the number of homeless individuals in Bangkok and other major cities across the country. Varawut Silpa-Archa affirmed that by 2036, all Thai citizens should have the means to afford housing, thus improving their overall quality of life.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.