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July 6, 2022



Civil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council call on Romani men and women to aid Romani Ukrainian refugees with finding housing by using state program

15.4.2022 9:18
A past session of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs. (PHOTO:  Archive of
A past session of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs. (PHOTO: Archive of

Volunteer civil society members of the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs, together with Regional Roma Coordinators, non-governmental non-profit organizations, government officials and others involved in the aid effort are calling on Romani men and women to help find housing especially for refugee Romani children and women who are not receiving enough housing support despite the neutral wording of housing provision rules. Jan Husák, a member of the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs, sent a press release to about the call.

The press release says that dignified, safe housing is the most basic need of all foreign nationals granted temporary protection in the country. "We express our great appreciation and gratitude for the work done so far and for the aid to people in very difficult situations being provided by many non-governmental, non-profit organizations, Regional Roma Coordinators and government officials, especially the Interior Ministry's Refugee Facilities Administration and the large sections of people actively involved in helping refugees," states the press release. 

"I very much appreciate the professional, humanely sensitive approach of the Refugee Facilities Administration, which has initiated many meetings with representatives of Romani non-profit organizations, the Government Council, the Czech Police, the Czech Fire and Rescue Service, the Ombudsman, the Office of the Government, Regional Roma Coordinators and many other stakeholders. Within those joint meetings, common procedures have been set up for more effective work with specific groups of people such as the Roma, and the basic parameters of the conditions for systemic support in solving problems related to aid for Romani Ukrainian refugees were set," Husák says.

However, according to the press release, despite all the efforts made by those named, including the Czech Government Council for Roma Minority Affairs' volunteer civil society members, concern is growing that housing capacity, especially for Romani Ukrainian refugees, will prove insufficient throughout the country. "One way to avert this escalating threat is to involve Romani people themselves in helping to find individuals who are authorized to dispose of real estate, to mediate between them and the refugees, and to offer the refugees housing - and we do not recommend providing them housing for people living on social benefits," the press release says.

To support the provision of temporary accommodation, the Czech Government has adopted a basic set of rules for providing allowances to households that take in refugees and show solidarity. The allowance is granted to any individual accommodating a temporarily-protected foreign national.

The condition for providing the contribution is that the accommodation be provided continuously for at least 16 consecutive days in a calendar month. The contribution for a household acting in solidarity is provided for the calendar months of March to June 2022 in the amount of CZK 3 000 [EUR 123] per accommodated person per calendar month, up to a maximum of four accommodated persons; the maximum monthly amount of the contribution could be CZK 12 000 [EUR 490].

According to the press release, the volunteer civil society members of the Czech Government Council on Romani Minority Affairs are aware of the complexity of the situations being faced by municipalities, Regional Authorities and the staffs of the "Regional Assistance Centers for Aid to Ukraine" when it comes to providing housing. "At the same time, however, we call on municipalities and regions to step up their efforts to arrange for unoccupied housing capacity to be provided to all temporarily protected foreign nationals, including Romani men and women, and to help allay our common concerns of housing shortages for particularly vulnerable refugee groups such as the Roma," the press release concludes. 

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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