New initiative challenges Czech Government to adopt social housing law by the end of the month
Yesterday representatives of a new intiative called "Have a Home" (Mít svůj domov) organized a "happening" in front of the Office of the Government in Prague to challenge cabinet members to fulfill their campaign promise to adopt a law on social housing. The initiative wants the Government to do so by the end of January.
The initiative brings together more than a thousand citizens and 80 experts, institutions and organizations who have signed a petition on the issue. It has been supported by more than 10 famous figures such as the Slovak actor and diplomat Magda Vášáryová, pop singer Janek Ledecký, actor Jiří Lábus, politician Petr Pithart, entrepreneur Michal Horáček and others.
Actors dressed as "traffickers in poverty" held an ironic celebration of the fact that this Government, despite its campaign promises, will probably not adopt a social housing law. The actors "thanked" the Government for another 10 years of uninterrupted trafficking in poverty.
According to the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry, 187 000 people ended up living in residential hotels, shelters, or on the street last year. That number represents a tripling during the last five years.
According to the initiative, the situation can only be resolved by adopting a high-quality law. The intiative says there are 15 principles that can be used to assess the quality of such a law.
All of the current governing parties - ANO, the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) and the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) - have pledged to adopt a social housing law. "They have made this promise more than once. First in 2013 during their campaign promise, and in the coaltion agreement, one year later in the Government's program declaration, and finally in 2015 in the Social Housing Concept. Through the influence of dubious disputes and constant postponement, however, it seems this Government will not manage to adopt the law despite the fact that it is supported by most citizens," Štěpán Ripka, an organizer of the intiative, says.
The Government has just 26 days to adopt the law before the end of January. "Otherwise it is most likely that the law will not make it through the legislative process by the end of this Government's term and the housing shortage among the most vulnerable groups, which includes, for example, children aging out of institutional care, senior citizens, and single mothers, will remain unresolved in the years to come," Ripka fears.
Along with the challenge, the initiative launched the web portal www.mitsvujdomov.cz yesterday featuring arguments for adopting the law, the personal stories of people in need of housing, an assessment of the quality of the current wording of the bill, and calls to support the initiative by philosopher Jan Sokol, documentary filmmaker Helena Třeštíková,pop singer Janek Ledecký, actor Jiří Lábus, priest Ladislav Heryán, Slovak actress and diplomat Magda Vášáryová, physician Milena Černá, entrepreneur Michal Horáček, director of the Charter 77 Foundation Božena Jirků and politician Petr Pithart, who all expressed support for adopting a law by recording video messages. The campaign first began in December with a series of photoreportages about people in need of housing on the website Humans of Prague.
- Analysis: What happened to the Czech social housing law?
- Czech Republic: Protest tomorrow about social housing law
- Czech Human Rights Minister opens important expert conference on social housing
- Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry responds to the myths now multiplying about social housing
- Analysis: Czech Civic Democratic Party cracks the whip on the poor with yet another anti-Roma campaign
- Roma civil society members on Czech Govt Roma Council tell Labor Minister her anti-poverty measures will instead produce poverty
- Czech Institute for Social Inclusion: Fake news about welfare is what might lead to social unrest
- Czech mayor heading new commission to design changes to housing benefits
- Czech Government has not yet decided whether to move Agency for Social Inclusion to Regional Development Ministry
- Jan Husák: Is the current Labor and Social Affairs Minister really worse than the worst-ever holder of that office?
- Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister claims "disruptive" change to housing benefits won't harm families or senior citizens
- Platform for Social Housing calls on Czech Labor Minister to withdraw her cancellation of housing benefits
- Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry plans to abolish existing housing benefits
- Czech town buying real estate in troubled neighborhoods for social housing development
- EU-funded project promoting health literacy in socially excluded communities of the Czech Republic
- Czech Labor Minister for ROMEA TV: Government as a whole is responsible for addressing social exclusion