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November 11, 2019
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Socially excluded localities

Annamária, the Romani girl who is an athletics champion in eastern Slovakia, with her mother. (PHOTO: RTVS)
Annamária, the Romani girl who is an athletics champion in eastern Slovakia, with her mother. (PHOTO: RTVS)

Czech Republic: 88 cities in 12 regions plan to ban housing benefits in specific zones

7.11.2018 11:31 The Institute for Social Inclusion (IPSI) reports that a total of 88 cities and municipalities in 12 regions are planning to announce or have already announced zones with increased incidences of undesirable phenomena where new applicants for housing benefits will not be allowed to receive them for residence at those addresses. The only regions where local authorities have not taken this step are the Pardubice and South Moravian Regions.
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Czech Govt Agency for Social Inclusion: 80 % of families who left residential hotels for standard rentals still renting one year later

18.10.2018 22:01 More than four-fifths of households living in residential hotels who were able to apply for extraordinary benefits to cover the costs of deposits and equipment when moving into standard rental apartment units are still in that housing in good standing one year later. Almost one-fifth of such households, moreover, made the move without requesting housing benefits from the state at all.  full story

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Czech evictees must leave school gym this weekend for housing in socially excluded localities

14.7.2018 9:25 Of the people who had to move away from one of two residential hotels that closed as of 30 June in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem without having anywhere else to go, three families with children and three single men remain housed in the gym of a primary school in the socially excluded Předlice neighborhood. As of yesterday, two of those families have rental housing arranged in a building near Na Nivách Street, while the third family says they believe they will manage to find housing in the Nové Březno neighborhood.  full story

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Czech Green Party says current housing crisis involving Romani evictees makes previous ones seem humane by comparison

18.6.2018 15:01 The leadership of the Green Party in the Ústecký Region of the Czech Republic is appealing to the leadership of the City of Ústí nad Labem to arrange crisis housing for the inhabitants of two residential hotels that are closing as of 30 June because as many as 230 people, 80 of them children, now living in the buildings in the city center and the Střekov quarter could end up living on the streets. "City Hall, through its decision to officially designate zones in the city where new arrivals will no longer be eligible for housing beneifts, has triggered a wave of reactions," their press release reports.  full story

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Social worker associations ask Czech city not to "abuse" social work

18.6.2018 13:58 Three associations of professional social workers - the Association of Educators in Social Work, the Social Workers' Society, and the Professional Chamber of Social Workers - have sent open letters about the housing crisis developing in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem, and news server Romea.cz is publishing both letters in full translation below. One of the letters is addressed to fellow social workers there and calls on them to perform their jobs in accordance with "social work values" when fulfilling the city's commissions.  full story

Czech village wants to stop housing benefits altogether, plans to buy up apartment buildings

17.6.2018 9:27 The village of Trmice in the Ústecký Region of the Czech Republic is defending itself against a potential influx of impoverished, problematic residents. Its local council has requested an expansion to its "measures of a general nature", on the basis of which new arrivals to the village will not be awarded housing benefits anywhere on its territory.  full story

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Czech city says evictees who "really" want aid will get it, the rest are "aggressive" and "under the influence of activists"

16.6.2018 15:15 According to representatives of the City of Ústí nad Labem, the evictees from two residential hotels there that will close as of 30 June are under the influence of activists and the unrealistic idea that somebody besides they themselves will take care of arranging their relocations. On 13 June, the city issued a press release entitled "Aid will come to those who actually want it."  full story

videoVIDEO: Demonstration about closure of Czech city's residential hotels, inhabited mostly by Roma

15.6.2018 11:34 Several dozen people demonstrated yesterday evening in the Czech town of Ústí nad Labem, where the planned closure of two residential hotels, according to demonstrators, will lead to their impoverished tenants, many of whom are Romani, having to move beyond the city limits. The event was convened by activists collaborating with the tenants of the two facilities slated to close at the end of this month.  full story

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Residential hotels closing in Czech city, Romani tenants have yet to find substitute accommodation

1.6.2018 19:22 The inhabitants of two residential hotels in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem that will close at the end of June still do not know where they will be moving. During their housing search they are encountering the need to pay deposits they cannot afford, as well as discrimination from landlords.
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Czech Labor Minister says lower housing benefits will drive down rents, experts say it will destroy social housing policy

31.5.2018 16:19 The proposed reduction to housing benefits for families with four or more members and for persons in residential hotels, according to the acting Czech Labor Minister Němcová (ANO) will lead to a decline in the overpriced rents being charged where people in need live. Receiving less state support will reportedly not deteriorate or endanger the situations of people in need.  full story

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Czech MP from the far right is a trafficker in poverty

19.3.2018 8:29 Lubomír Volný, an MP in Tomio Okamura's "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) movement and a regional assembly member, has been renting properties for five years to the same impoverished families that the SPD customarily labels as "inadaptables" or "parasites", making money from the very welfare system that the SPD otherwise rejects as costly and dysfunctional. Public broadcaster Czech Television has reported on his business dealings in detail during an episode of Reportéři ČT that aired on 12 March.  full story

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Czech Justice Minister threatens to resign if SPD party joins the Government, calls it fascist, they plan to sue

21.2.2018 20:49 Czech Justice Minister Robert Pelikán (ANO) absolutely disagrees with the program of the SPD movement and considers the party, chaired by Czech MP Tomio Okamura, to be fascist. He said he is prepared to resign if SPD joins the Government.  full story

Vojtěch Lavička: Czech municipalities fouling their own nests by cancelling housing benefits

5.10.2017 11:42 Almost 20 municipalities in the Czech Republic have decided to cancel the disbursal of welfare benefits issued to tenants living in problematic localities for their housing. This step - which to me is a stupid one, to put it mildly - has been facilitated by an amendment to the law on aid to those in material distress.  full story

Slovak mayor aids Romani settlement and his village by resolving illegal construction situation

8.6.2017 14:17 Michal Didik, Mayor of Čirč, a community in eastern Slovakia, has recently aided the Romani settlement there, the residents of which have illegally built their homes on land belonging to others. "It was clearer to me than anything else under the sun that the Romani residents would never be buying the land beneath their houses. At the land registry office I ascertained who exactly owns the land beneath the settlement. I was startled by the big number of individual owners - one hectare is owned by as many as 150 people. I personally found each of them and asked them to donate their land to the municipality," Didik told news server novinky.cz.  full story

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Czech lower house has only just begun reviewing the social housing bill, its chances of approval before the elections keep falling

13.4.2017 9:46 The social housing bill drafted by the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry under Michaela Marksová (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) and approved by the Government faced almost nothing but criticism in the Czech Chamber of Deputies on 11 April. The right-wing opposition has called it an unusable mockery.  full story

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