Ostrava promotes social inclusion through affordable housing
The Regiostar Award Winner develops one of the best social housing projects
- December 06, 2019 17:30
Under the funding from the European Social Fund, the City of Ostrava in the Czech Republic piloted a project for social housing with duration 2014-2019. The amount of funding for the project totalled to EUR 540,489 of which EU contribution amounted to EUR 459,416. The priority areas for it were “fighting poverty” and “social innovation and transnational innovation”.
Because of its excellent strategy and project implementation, in 2018 the city won the European Commission Regiostars Award.
Social inclusion in the Czech Republic
Affordable housing is an issue in every country but the Czech Republic was in a particularly difficult situation due to shortage of houses/apartments to be rented as well as the gap in the national law where legislation regarding social housing should stay.
The project was piloted in areas of the city where the need to improve people`s living conditions was the greatest. According to Dr. Marek Mikulec, Methodologist of Social Housing of the City of Ostrava, there were approximately 10,000 people in need of housing when the project first started.
How did the City manage these problems?
First, the local authorities set aside apartments in some of the most populated districts of the city and renovated them quickly which allowed for families and people in need to move in quickly. The allocation is done through a scoring system depending on the seriousness of people`s needs and problems with single mothers having priority.
The development of the strategy was a long process in which a lot of different stakeholders took part. Apart from the municipality and the city authorities, different NGOs, public and private partners, universities as well as providers of communal services helped to devise a strategy that will not only deal with the problem at hand but will create a long-term solution.
The result is only that a lot more people have the opportunity to live in an affordable home during their time of crisis, while at the same time manage to create a life for themselves, find a job, solve their problems, build an environment in which their kids can thrive and feel safe and secure. In general, to live like any other human being that hasn`t lived through the same serious problems.
The project managed to establish a system that can serve not only the City of Ostrava, but also other cities and districts in the Czech Republic. The results are still to be evaluated since the project ended in September, 2019.
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