Social Housing Support Project

Logopruh final 2019

January 2016 marked the beginning of an intensified effort towards introducing Social Housing to the Czech Republic. To this end, under the coverage of the Czech Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and co-financed by the EU, the methodological and informational support in the social field has began through the Social Housing Support Project. Since 2016, the project engages the key actors in the field of Social Housing, both foreign and domestic, and moves towards developing the Czech system of Social Housing.

The overall objective of the project is to promote the implementation of Social Housing (SH) in the Czech Republic, to evaluate the various approaches under local conditions and to assist in creating an approach which is worthy of adoption at national level. 16 municipalities from all over the country have signed up as pioneers, who work closely with the Ministry as part of the Social Housing Project. The municipalities establish and implement local SH programmes, which serve as sources of good practice, create a platform for gaining and sharing experience, and can be seen as the base for the eventual national system of SH. In order to ensure the general applicability of the ultimate SH system, the sixteen municipalities not only various regions of the country, but they also range from a rather small village of 400 citizens, up to the districts of the capital city of Prague.

In order to facilitate the assistance and the support needed, both to municipalities partaking in the project and those outside of it, the project’s Contact Centre has been established. The Centre is gathering and then disseminating useful information among municipalities; should the pioneer projects require any assistance, the employees of the Contact Centre offer direct support to the municipalities. Besides working with the sixteen pioneers, the Contact centre team offer their support and consulting to any municipality or individual in need. Yet another role of the Contact Centre is that of a dissemination of information. The Contact Centre seeks to reach out to organisations and other actors, as well as to the general public, with an interest in social housing and works on eliminating the many harmful myths surrounding it.

The local relevant experience is not the only source of information for the project. Cordial relations with seven European organizations providing SH in their respective countries made it possible to carry out a series of study visits throughout 2017 and 2018. This has enabled both, the ministerial and municipal representatives, to get inspiration and import the best practices from various countries. As a part of its standard support, the Contact Centre provided municipalities whose representatives could not attend certain visits, summaries and reports.

As with any national reform, practical data and field experience should be accompanied by a sufficient level of theoretical and scientific research to ensure its sustainability and efficiency. This dimension is provided by the advisory body of an expert group, which brings together specialists from the field of SH, as well as a series of studies commissioned under the SH Project. A total of thirteen materials regarding Social Housing will have been completed by 2020. These include research studies (evaluation study, comparative analysis of SH across Europe, analysis of residential segregation, etc.), as well as methodological manuals for specific actors and parties which aim at dissemination, spreading the acquired experience and ensure the adoption of the best practice within government institutions. These handbooks, planned for 2019/20, are aimed at social workers on the municipal level, the Czech Labour Office workers, and are focused on linking social work and housing policy with other social policy instruments. Furthermore, they help to bridge the gap between theory and practice and are a series of educational seminars and workshops for social workers and Labour Office workers, who deal with clients on a daily basis, so their acceptance and knowledge of the SH system is crucial.

Municipalities involved in the project:

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