From Huts to Homes

From Huts to Homes

National project

The association provides homeless families with the opportunity to move from self-built shacks to city-rented housing. The homeless families will move into previously derelict properties, which will be renovated by volunteers and future tenants. On average, ten people will work per day on the renovation projects, with more over the weekends. The renovation process should take approximately 10 days.

The Social Housing Construction Association carries out the physical/technical aspects of the Project and the recruitment of volunteers from all social strata, whilst the ‘City is for All’ organisation leads negotiations and selects homeless beneficiaries. Since beginning in 2012, the project has been helping homeless persons move into renovated municipal flats.

Renovate vacant, run-down municipal dwellings with the help of volunteers as well as hut-dwelling rough sleepers, that is, the prospective tenants, in partnership with other civil society organisations, and with the support of individual and organisational donations. Members of the target group have no chance of ever obtaining long-term, sustainable individual housing in any other way, as according to the vast majority of municipal decrees, homeless persons are ineligible for municipal rental housing. At the same time, municipalities often have a low-quality housing stock with many dilapidated, even uninhabitable flats, which they have trouble utilizing. This may also be the case for many privately owned apartments; therefore we recently began working on finding innovative ways to utilize private dwellings in affordable housing provision.

This way tenants can exit homelessness, for which they hardly have any other chance. Intensive social work, based on the Housing First approach, is a fundamental part of our work, in which stable housing is considered the first step in social reinsertion. The goal is to help clients retain their housing in the long run, for which we identify employment opportunities, and in some cases even offer jobs to our tenants. Some of our clients had no regular income whatsoever upon moving in their new housing, and today they are able to cover their bills on time.

The project started in 2012 and is ongoing.

It addresses the topics of: human rights, social support, equity and justice (gender equality, socio-economic gaps), vulnerable consumers (disabled, students, tenants, public housing inhabitants).

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