Piloting the social housing concept
Many households in Ostrava live in unsatisfactory conditions; difficult life situations have left them either homeless or suffering a very poor standard of housing. This affects individuals, couples, and families – including single-parent families.
The City of Ostrava provides assistance to these households via its social housing system. Households that are either homeless or living in poor housing conditions are eligible for municipal apartments, as well as guidance from social workers.
As part of this project, the City first created a Social Housing Concept and then followed up the concept with a detailed Action Plan. These documents – created by the City’s Social Housing Working Group – set out the social housing provision system and delineate the system’s goals and parameters.
Out of 92 households which entered the system, 80% of them successfully retained the housing provided to them.
Staff from the City Authority conducted interviews with the members of the households in order to gain valuable feedback on their evaluation of the social housing system.
Positive impacts of the social housing system:
- satisfaction with new housing – feelings of certainty and security (92% of households),
- improved health (52% of households),
- improved financial situation (66% of households),
- improved family relationships, fewer arguments and conflicts, better communication (28% of households),
- improved performance of children at school (52% of households),
- at least one member of the household has found work (38% of households),
- de-stigmatization – children are not ashamed of their situation at school, they are able to invite schoolmates home (households with children – former residents of social hostels),
- new housing as a start of a new phase in life.
The City’s social housing activities have received international attention and acclaim. In 2018 the project won the European Commission’s RegioStars Award in the category “Creating Better Access to Public Services”; the awards featured 102 projects from 25 countries, competing in 5 separate categories, and Ostrava was the first ever winner from the Czech Republic. The City’s social housing system is also used as an example of good practice for the European Pillar of Social Rights (Chapter III – Social Protection and Inclusion, 19. Housing and assistance for the homeless).