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SOCIAL POLIS Social platform on cities and social cohesion Thematic Working Group 6 The housing aspects of dealing with segregated Roma neighbourhoods.

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Presentation on theme: "SOCIAL POLIS Social platform on cities and social cohesion Thematic Working Group 6 The housing aspects of dealing with segregated Roma neighbourhoods."— Presentation transcript:

1 SOCIAL POLIS Social platform on cities and social cohesion Thematic Working Group 6 The housing aspects of dealing with segregated Roma neighbourhoods Vienna, 12 May 2009 Iván Tosics Metropolitan Research Institute, Budapest

2 The context for Social Polis What to do with extremely segregated neighbourhoods? Only two possible housing interventions: –demolish the ghetto and put the residents into more integrated areas –improve the local conditions and create better links to opportunity areas –the recently very fashionable social mix ideas do not work in extremely segregated neighbourhoods There are more options regarding education and employment interventions Extremely segregated areas are usually occupied by those social groups, who are the most excluded from the majority society. This paper deals with the Roma - similar examples could be brought from immigrant dominated neighbourhoods

3 Some figures Estimates on the number of Roma people range between 8-12 million in the EU27. Their exact number and situation is not known, as collecting ethnic data is usually forbidden. The Roma problem is strongly concentrated on east- central Europe where in most countries their share is coming close to 10% of population Large majority of Roma live in need and dispear –UNDP data: unemployment in Roma communities in Slovakia is 72% and in segregated settlements this rate is close to 100% –In Serbia 60-80% of Roma live in unhygienic settlements –Roma people live shorter lives, their average age in Hungary is below 25 years (cf with the Slovak minority: 51 years)

4 Spatial patterns of the Roma According to COE research the typology of deprived Roma neighborhoods is: Rundown peripheral housing areas (can be historic mahalas or new shantytowns) Collective ghetto-type housing (occupying workers housing, etc) Miscallenous types of dwellings in town and city centres In Hungary many Roma live in rural areas, there are many totally segregated settlements.

5 Country specific problems Romania (and Balkan countries): many illegal settlements, where legalization and giving title to families (as owners, not to be easily evicted, pushed out any more), is the first priority. Central European countries: the dominant problems are lack of infrastructure and services (and in Hungary usury)

6 National policies for the Roma. Changing education priorities in Hungary In Hungary socialist industrialization improved their position, 80% of males got jobs. Many of the segregated areas were eradicated, Roma moved to towns. Separated education with the aim to close the gap Emerging capitalist society: public money withdrawn from all these programmes. Jobs for Roma disappered. Housing privatization increased inequalities. Roma as main losers of transition New public policies in the 2000s: integrated education (special subsidies); pilot projects to eradicate or improve segregated areas in small settlements. 20 years after limited results: despite public efforts increasing segregation in education and housing; anti- Roma prejudices stronger than ever.

7 Program of the Slovakian Ministry Construction of municipal lower standard rental flats for socially excluded Roma –80 % of costs is subsidy from the Ministry –20 % participation of the municipality (work of future tenants or financial deposit) –Project Design financed by ministerial grant Equipment of the flat (minimal housing): –surface finishing of the internal walls and the ceilings in the flat: plaster and paint –surface finishing of the floors in the flats: cement –sink, water faucet for cold water, oil paint around the sink; local heating system

8 Housing policies for the Roma Prototypes of housing interventions: improving the settlement (SRB Kraljevo), building new houses besides the shacks which are demolished (Slovakia) relocation: building new community somewhere else (Belgrade Gazella - Ovca)

9 Good cases but little or no integration From integration perspective the national programmes failed, because –resistance of majority society against spatial integration, therefore mainly renovation of the ghetto or new building close to the original place –Limited level of functional integration of the programmes (education-housing-employment) –In some places leakage of the money (partly through Roma interest groups)

10 THE MEDIA ON THE PROJECT We are going to fight by all the means available to prevent an organized settling of the Roma to our area. The plan of the city fathers is going to fail ! No for Roma neighbors STOP THE ROMA Road blockades because of the Roma Ovča: Against Roma settlements A resistance center fighting against resettling Roma the Roma Some refuse, the others forbid

11 Efforts of the mostly affected countries 11 Central and South-Eastern European countries affected by the social problems of the Roma population (including territorial segregation) have created a joint international project Decade of Roma Inclusion The cooperation focuses on four key areas: health care, employment, education and housing. Each country created a national action plan, which includes policy guidelines and in a few cases even specific short and mid- term interventions. Conclusion of Roma Decade housing workshop: relocating a settlement is a very costly process, priority should be given to improvement of the existing settlements on its location, if possible. The Roma population should actively be involved in selection of the model to be applied.

12 The need for more EU intervention Neither the joint action of the CEE countries, nor the national actions will suffice the long term management of the worsening social tensions caused by the growing levels of segregation. It is crucial that the European Union get engaged both financially and politically in order to mitigate the problems. Recent Structural Funds regulation only allows renovating of housing, which is clearly not sufficient in case of ghettoes. Desegregation would require demolition and rehousing the families – accompanied by complex interventions – into more integrated neighbourhoods. Recently construction or purchase of social housing are not eligible for SF (the new member states are not able to cover the costs of such interventions), moreover, EU interventions cannot be financed outside the action area, making impossible to help the mobility out from the ghetto into integrated neighbourhoods.

13 Innovative ideas in the NMS Hungarian policy on integrated development and anti-segregation: involve desegregation criteria into accessing EU funds All municipalities who want EU renewal funds must prepare Integrated Urban Development Strategy and must attach anti-segregation plan into the proposal, aiming at decrease of segregation with integrated multi-sectoral approach (housing, education, employment, social help). Independent anti-segregation experts have to approve the plans.

14 Reactions, alternative ideas in Hungary 170 anti-segregation plans have been prepared by large and medium cities. Local politicians were not happy: protests from some mayors Alternative expert idea: to make distinction between desegregation efforts in the different sectors: not housing desegregation should be the key (as this is mostly rejected by majority society), but desegregation in education (US) and employment (socialist period) through subsidized transport and construction of dormitories and workers hostels in cities bank for the poor (to fight usury, allow self- employment)

15 National and EU policies needed The new MSs need extremely quick help in conducting Roma programmes Otherwise the opportunity of sizeable SF money will be gone soon by 2013 and paralel to that the Roma segregation and exclusion problem might easily emerge to un-managable levels

16 OSI helping the EU OSI Project Generation Facility for Roma Inclusion, assisting local governments to get SF programmes to improve Roma inclusion –Municipalities are in info gap and are afraid that SF opportunities for Roma programmes will negatively affect mainstream programmes. Roma NGOs do not speak to EU and SF language. Small municipalities are unable to cope with difficult administrative procedures. –PGF gives TA to interested local governments, who have project ideas. 2.5 million eur programme in , in five countries. OSI has spent a lot on Roma issues and also supplies the bulk of money into the Educational Fund. OSI collaborates with the Commission on Roma issues

17 Expert workshop in Budapest supported by Social Polis small grant THE HOUSING ASPECTS OF DEALING WITH SEGREGATED ROMA NEIGHBORHOODS Budapest, May Invited countries: Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Croatia. Leading practitioners/researchers and government officials

18 To get an overview about the existing experience and knowledge to explore the scale and nature of the segregated Roma neighbourhoods to reveal the national and regional/local programs to critically analyse the approach, the tools and the results of these programmes to discuss the opportunities and difficulties to use EU Structural Funds to address the problems to start the development of a common understanding of segregation and a common approach to fight the segregation To prepare a Transnational Cooperation Programme – a long-term cooperation among the affected countries, lead by the Hungarian Ministry for National Development and Economy – to design the framework of a new post-2013 Structural Funds regulation, which could address this complex reintegration challenge

19 Big challenge for Social Polis FRA Europe-wide existing experiences should be turned into knowledge for countries facing the problems of extremely segregated minority groups De-segregation/integration/inclusion policies in housing, education, employment should be discussed in their links to each other Multi-sector desegregation models should be developed which can be adapted to the special circumstances in these countries

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