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August 14, 2022



Roma forced into "container" housing by Czech mayor a decade ago warn others it's not fit for human habitation

6.7.2019 8:45

The Romani community organization Awen Amenca visited the Romani people who were evicted in 2006 from an apartment building in the town of Vsetín and forced to live in "container" housing in the locality of Poschla there. Then-Mayor Jiří Čunek was responsible for organizing their eviction and relocation.

In association with the fact that the city council in Most intends to also build container housing on the Chanov housing estate there, representatives of Awen Amenca asked the evictees from Vsetín what it has been like to live in the container housing there. "During the first year, it was all fine. Then the problems began," one of the container tenants explained in a video interview.

"Mold began to grow here that is impossible to get rid of," the resident said. Other residents complain that in winter, the containers cannot be heated properly, while in the summer they are unbearably hot and cannot be cooled.

"It's damp here. In the winter, water runs down the [interior] walls. In the summer we spend the whole day with the children in the corridor," another tenant said.

Other tenants complained the housing is no good for their children, who are very frequently ill. In conclusion, the inhabitants of Poschla have a clear message for the Romani people at Chanov:  "Roma from Chanov, don't give up, don't accept it, fight! We were stupid not to fight. Don't do it, if you do it, it will be your greatest mistake, as it was for the Roma from Vsetín."

Not only does the plan not sit well with the local Roma, it also is unacceptable to opposition members on the local assembly from the Green Party and the Pirate Party. The Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion, which is proposing the gradual depopulation of the Chanov housing estate, is also against installing container housing there.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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