Projects and initiatives in the Miskolc distric, Hungary

The Field-visit was originally planned in 2020 but it has been postponed and redesigned to online event because of the pandemic.

Presenters of the meeting were selected from settlements where to the field visit would have been organized: Miskolc, Bag.

Miskolc is the 4th largest city in Hungary in terms of population, with approximately 150.000 residents. Population is declining since the transition from communism. It used to have heavy industrial activity (steel industry and coal mines) before the political and economical transition. In the 90s unemployment became a key issue and slums began to appear in the city.

Ms Renata Trezsi and Mr Adam Gyoker, of the Miskolc Municipality presented the housing situation of the Roma families in Miskolc

Ms Emoke Both, of the BAGazs Association, illustrated the experiences and results of 10 years of development work in a segregated area

The Hungarian partner Autonomia invited also two additional presenters to give the audience a context of the Roma housing issue and its policy environment: Ms Nóra Teller (Metropolitan Institute on the social and housing conditions of the Hungarian Roma society) and Mr Laszlo Moravcsik (Ministry of Interior and Maltese Charity ont he ongoing governmental initiatives).

The main conclusions were:

  • The housing problem of the Roma society is so complex and wide that short-term and project-wise initiatives cannot change it radically. For this reason, the Hungarian government launched the ’Catching up Settlements Program’ for the 300 most depressed settlements. In this program, the housing issue takes an important role. Besides building new houses, a ’Rental Agency’ will provide housing opportunity for Roma families.
  • In smaller settlements where only NGOs are active, the first task is the legalization of the status of the households (arears, unclear ownership etc.).
  • It is also a challenge that local authorities do not takes supportive role in the solving the housing problems.
  • Housing integration faces to a strong resistance by the side of the majority of the Hungarian society. To achieve a real and sustainable result in this field, stakeholders have to take effort to promote the inclusiveness.

Video about Roma housing conditions and a project funded by the World Bank

Video on the settlements where BAGazs Association is working