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Czech region to reinstate Romani caretakers in socially excluded localities

20.2.2022 6:44
In Holešov, Czech Republic, these
In Holešov, Czech Republic, these "container" housing units are inhabited by Romani tenants. (PHOTO: Google Maps)

After a four-year hiatus, the Czech Republic's Zlín Region will resume its financial support for operations involving caretakers in localities populated by Romani residents. The caretakers are meant to oversee order and help the inclusion of Romani minority members into the majority society. 

The Argo association, the activities of which are performed by volunteers, will receive a subsidy of CZK 200 000 [EUR 8 000], Deputy Governor Hana Ančincová (Pirates) told reporters on 13 February. The support has been approved by the regional councilors.

The caretakers will work in Holešov in the Kroměříž district and in Uherský Brod in the Uherské Hradiště district. "These are part-time jobs and support provided by the Romani minority. It is always done exclusively by representatives of the Romani minority who enjoy respect and natural authority in these localities," Ančincová said. 

According to her, the caretakers will supervise, for example, the order and technical condition of residential buildings. They also mediate communications between local authorities and tenants, supervise residential buildings, and monitor how apartment units are being used.

Building management of this kind was supported by the Zlín Region between 2012 and 2018. It followed earlier field work in localities populated by Romani people that had been practiced since 2006.

"We have decided to resume this practice because we believe it is a necessary, proven method of maintaining order in certain excluded localities," said the Deputy Governor. She said she considers the institution of such caretakers to be an instrument for the inclusion of the Romani minority.

According to Ančincová, if the work of Romani caretakers in Holešov and Uherský Brod proves successful, the region is ready to increase their financial support next year and expand the service to other cities. In the past, caretakers operated in Zlín, Holešov, Kroměříž and Bystřice pod Hostýnem in the Kroměříž district, in Uherský Brod, and in Valašské Meziříčí in the Vsetín district.

In 2019, the Governor's office in the Zlín Region recorded the existence of eight localities where people with social problems are more concentrated. The localities were in Kroměříž, Holešov, Valašské Meziříčí, Uherský Brod, in Kunovice in the Uherské Hradiště region, and in Vsetín. 

According to estimates, there were about 780 people living in those localities at that time. What is called a socially excluded locality can be a neighborhood, a single street, or a single building where social problems are concentrated into a place most residents often perceive as problematic. 

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Civil society, Housing, Socially excluded localities, Zlínský kraj



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