Neighborhood help

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Offer for neighborhood help in Cologne-Ehrenfeld in times of the COVID-19 pandemic

Neighborhood help refers to a mutual form of help and support given among neighbors , in which mostly remuneration in the form of a monetary payment is waived and counter-performance in a similar form is provided instead. Neighborhood assistance is usually a habitual and poorly formalized tool used by social communities to deal with individual or community needs, emergencies and crises .

to form

Motivation for neighborly help mostly arises between people who are in a similar social or material situation. "Functioning neighborhood", for which neighborhood help is an indication, arises, for example, in rural village communities in times of increasing labor demand (mutual help when bringing in the harvest together ) or to ward off threats and dangers ( dike protection , voluntary fire brigade ; see also pump neighborhood ). As individual help, neighborhood help enables everyday problems to be overcome and crises such as illness and poverty to be overcome .

In urban societies with a high degree of individualization , the lack of neighborhood help is often complained, for example in the anonymous neighborhood of high-rise residents. In most cases, however, their material reasons no longer apply ( social assistance , pension insurance , social stations , day-care centers , old people's homes ) or professional forms of hazard prevention have been established ( professional fire brigade ). Added to this is the greater involvement of the individual in economic working life. While earlier z. For example, if a housewife had the opportunity to help a sick neighbor during the day, today, in many cases, all persons in a household are professionally active and can therefore only provide appropriate assistance in their free time.

Local, church or association community work endeavors to (re) stimulate neighborly solidarity and mutual support.

The self-help movement can be understood as a replacement for previous neighborhood help . Time banks are another organized form of neighborhood help.

Legal regulations


In some laws, neighborly aid is given a special role. For example, according to § 6 (2) RDG, free legal advice without the supervision of a fully qualified lawyer is only permitted if it is provided within "family, neighborly or similarly close personal relationships".

“Real” neighborhood help does not lead to any tax obligations if it is provided without consideration. In addition to the “real”, there are also alleged forms of neighborhood help that are supposed to cover up illegal work . Help is provided here, but the consideration is in cash and “ bypassing the tax office ”. The framework of permissible neighborhood help can therefore be regulated by law. Undeclared work does not include activities that are performed by relatives or as a courtesy or by way of neighborly help, provided they are “not sustainably directed at profit”, for example because they are “performed for low pay” ( § 1 SchwarzArbG).

See also


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Franz-Josef Sehr : The fire extinguishing system in Obertiefenbach from earlier times . In: Yearbook for the Limburg-Weilburg district 1994 . The district committee of the district of Limburg-Weilburg, Limburg 1993, p. 151-153 .
  2. Reimer Gronemeyer, Hans-E. Bahr (ed.): Neighborhood in the new building block. Beltz 1977. (also contains an empirical study on the subject)