Labour offices in the Czech Republic have provided immediate, extraordinary
assistance to around 1160 socially deprived tenants since 2016, according
to the annual report issued by the government Agency for Social Inclusion,
which is set to be debated by the government on Wednesday.
The immediate support is designated for tenants living in lodging houses to pay first and last month's rents in their new housing. Around 560 applications have been turned down by the labour offices.
The government Agency for Social Inclusion was established in 2008 to assist local authorities to resolve housing problems and creating a liaison between people living in social exclusion and labour offices, schools and the police and currently works in 60 municipalities with over 230 socially excluded localities.
Prague City Hall will contribute 200 million crowns to the Opatov district
to aid its effort to renovate a workers’ hostel and convert it into
City Councillors also agreed on Thursday to distribute 122 million crowns among seven other Prague districts for similar projects, as part of an initiative introduced in 2015.
The Opatov workers’ hostel, called Hotel Sandra, is a priority because it is seen as a hotbed for criminality and vandalism, and “troublesome” for many years, district councillor Jan Říčař (ANO) said.
Plans to cut housing benefits for the socially disadvantaged are in the spotlight ahead of a special debate scheduled for the lower house on Thursday. The ANO government say the move will curb landlords exploiting the poverty of others – but members of the opposition warn that it could undermine the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. I discussed the issue with Kumar Vishwanathan, a community worker in North Moravia.
There should be no more than 12 apartments in social housing units planned
by the Ministry for Regional Development, the Czech News Agency has learned
following meetings between ministry representatives, the Platform for
Social Housing and MPs from the Pirate Party. Under the plan, the state and
not municipalities would pay for social housing facilities’ construction.
In the past the Platform as well as the Pirates took issue with plans for new social housing facilities over the worry that the plan to lead to the creation of more generic shelters than genuine “anonymous” apartments. The concentration of families on the brink of poverty or social exclusion could lead to ghettoization and additional problems. The Pirate Party has cited studies showing the importance of proper housing for peoples’ well-being and general overall success.
The Ministry for Regional Development wants to push ahead with plans for
social housing, which previous governments failed to secure, according to
Czech Television. The ministry is preparing an amended bill on social
housing according to which it would be financed both by state and EU funds.
While many NGOs have long criticized the absence of social housing for socially-challenged citizens, others fear that newly built apartments for lower-income families would create new excluded localities.
Countries form around the world signed up in 2015 to a United Nations plan for sustainable global develop. It was greeted as an unprecedented move towards creating a fairer and more sustainable world. The Czech government was due to give an update on its progress in attaining some of the goals at the UN this week. At the same, the Czech branch of the NGO Social Watch prepared to present its findings about progress or the lack of it locally.
Prague City Hall is planning to build hundreds of council houses within the next few years, the daily Hospodářské noviny wrote on Thursday. The first apartments are set to be built at the Černý Most housing estate within the next two years. According to the daily, City Hall plans to select more locations in the city where hundreds of council apartments could be built in the near future.
The government on Wednesday approved long-awaited draft legislation on social housing, which aims to make emergency, social, and cheap housing available to those with below average incomes, the government’s spokesman Martin Ayrer said. The bill will have to be approved by Parliament and signed by the president before parliamentary elections in October. If it comes into effect, the first applicants could submit their applications for social housing as of mid-2018.