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July 18, 2019
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Czech Govt Agency for Social Inclusion does not support new investment into infamous housing estate properties

25.6.2019 7:08
David Beňák (PHOTO: Vojtěch Lavička)
David Beňák (PHOTO: Vojtěch Lavička)

The Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion does not support reconstructing the existing prefabricated apartment buildings on the Chanov housing estate in the town of Most. The Agency also does not support the installation of "container housing" there, as is being advocated by the locally governing "ProMost" (For Most) movement.

The Agency believes the best solution for Chanov is to let the housing estate gradually depopulate and for the number of housing units there to be decreased. "The Agency for Social Inclusion welcomes the development of community activities and the strengthening of the competences of those living in so-called socially excluded localities," it said in a recent statement on the issue.

"It is important that one component of the decisions that will affect the residents of Chanov be a dialogue with them that takes their needs into consideration," the Agency said. Director David Beňák told news server Romea.cz:  "We consider the ideal solution to be the gradual depopulation of the housing estate, implemented over a long-term period, all the while taking the needs of local residents into account."

"The Chanov inhabitants would subsequently be provided with long-term rental housing in apartment units of a standard quality in a non-segregated locality," Beňák said. ProMost wants to install the first "container housing" units at Chanov next year, following the model of the town of Vsetín.

Opposition local assembly members in Most from the Green Party and the Pirates are against that idea, as are the Chanov residents themselves. Beňák believes the construction of "container housing" is not the solution.

"We believe building housing out of containers as 'cells' is not the correct approach, as it supports residential segregation," he told news server Romea.cz. The Agency says it could facilitate financing for the gradual depopulation of Chanov and reduction in the number of apartment units there, and the municipality could apply for such financing as part of what is called a Thematic Action Plan.

Agency representatives presented a sketch of such a plan to Deputy Mayor Markéta Stará at a meeting in March 2019. "One component of such a plan is the implementation of auxiliary activities, such as support for the residents' employability, for their education, and for addressing the over-indebtedness of the inhabitants of Chanov, which will facilitate their transition into standard housing," the Agency director said.

The entire process is meant to involve local residents during all phases, with the aim of arranging their active participation and dialogue with local government as partners. According to the Agency, such an approach would respect both the conceptual framework for addressing the issue of social exclusion in the Czech Republic and its legal aspects.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Agentura pro sociální začleňování, Chanov, David Beňák, Housing



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