Housing interventions to tackling segregation
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Housing interventions to tackling segregation. in the framework of area based integrated approach Eszter Somogyi Almería Seminar RomaNET. Topics to be addressed. Types of deprived Roma neighbourhoods in cities and level of segregation Main problems Why segregation is a problem?

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Housing interventions to tackling segregation

in the framework of

area based integrated approach

Eszter Somogyi

Almería Seminar


Topics to be addressed

  • Types of deprived Roma neighbourhoods in cities and level of segregation

  • Main problems

  • Why segregation is a problem?

  • Interventions:

    • area based approach

    • integrated approach

    • housing interventions / inclusive housing policies

    • desegregation

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Urban deprived Roma neighbourhoods

Types of neighboorhouds level of segregation types of interventions


  • Location:

    • Integrated part of the city (no physical barriers)

    • Peripherial part of the city (industrial sites, physical barriers etc)

    • Isolated from the city

  • Size (number of housing units and people): small (below 150 persons), medium (few hundred persons), large (few thousands)

  • Level of social deprivation / segregation:

    • Socially mixed neighbourhoods

    • Socially homogenous

  • Level of phyisical deprivation:

    • Urban environment

    • Infrastructure supply

    • Housing conditions

  • Level of service provision (public, social, commercial etc.)

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Spatial relationship between marginalized communities and the built rural / urban area

a. isolated (the link at the physical proximity or the relationship link is very poor)

b. satellite type (the link at the psychological proximity is very poor)

c. tangent (peripheral separated by a physical obstacle, more or less penetrable)

d. peripheral with a contact zone

e. non-integrated incorporated type

f. enclave

g. disseminated

(cf. Berescu, Cătălin; Celac, Mariana,

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a. isolated (the link at the physical proximity or the relationship link is very poor)

Moldava Nad Bodvou

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b. satellite type (the link at the psychological proximity is very poor)

Ózd, Hétes telep (HU)

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Kosice, Luník IX

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c. tangent (peripheral separated by a physical obstacle, more or less penetrable)

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d. peripheral with a contact zone

Sofia, Fakulteta

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e. non-integrated incorporated type

Budapest, Dzsumbuj

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f. disseminated/ enclave

Bucharest, Ferentari

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Main problems-multidimensional

  • Social: high unemployment, low level qualification, poverty, crime etc.

  • Physical: neglected and deterriorated urban environment, bad quality/substandard housing, lack of infrastructure, unhealthy environment

  • Legal issues: no title to land or to housing, no rental contract, no registered address

  • absence or low level of basic public services (education, health, social, employment, cultural etc)

  • Bad connection to the city: roads, transport

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Why segregation matters?

Segregation has multiple dimensions:

  • Physical separation: distance from the main parts of the city, the quality of living environment

  • Social distance – concentration of social problems

  • Lack of or limited access to public and other services

  • Lack of informations about opportunities (employment)

  • Closed social relations – very limited relations with the „outside” world

    Limited choices in every spheres of life reproduction of poverty and exclusion

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Area-based integrated approach

  • To tackle spatially concentrated multiple problems of social exclusion in deprived neighbourhoods

  • In a defined area implement several actions that can generate real changes in the neighbourhood and in the relation of the neighbourhood and the city itself (integrate the neighbourhood to the structure and life of the city)

  • Integrated approach: physical and soft actions parallel implemented

  • Synergy effects

  • Longer term intervention

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Visioning the future of the neighbourhood

  • Establish a long term strategy

    • the neighbourhood/ area can be integrated into the city or not

    • Regeneration or eradication

  • With the participation of the community and key stakeholders

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Mapping housing problems

  • Tenant issues:

    • Owners

    • Tenants: public housing or private rentals

  • Legal issues:

    • Illegal settlements

    • Lack of legal title to housing (owners, tenants)

    • Lack of registered address entitlement to social benefits

  • Quality of housing:

    • Substandard units

    • public utilities: lack of infrastructure or terminated utility services, illegal connections

    • Overcrowdness

    • Unhealthy circumstances

  • Affordability problem: rent, housing maintenance costs, cost of legalisation

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Aim of housing interventions

  • Improve housing conditions

  • Open up housing choices: needs and financial capacities

  • Cease segregation also through housing intervention

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Housing measures 1.

  • Social housing

    • New construction

    • Refurbishment of existing units

    • purchase of apartments for social housing

  • Private rental housing

    • Support access to private rentals (discrimination)

    • Support rent payment

    • Provide guarantee for landlords in case of „high-risk” groups

  • Owner occupation

    • Support access to owner occupied housing

    • Refurbishment of existing owner-occupied units


    • lump sum subsidy,

    • saving programs,

    • Subsidised loans (micro-credit)

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Housing measures 2.

  • Housing allowance programs

    • Support rent payments

    • Support the payments of maintenance costs

  • Tackle illegal housing situations

    • Set up mechanism to legalise settlements and housing situations

      (for illegal settlements both for owners and tenants )

    • Legalise conncections to public utilities

    • Debt management programs

    • Register address

  • Improve infrastructure supply

    • Public utilities

    • (Road, pavements etc.)

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Implementation 1.

  • Match different kind of fundings

    • State housing programs

    • Regional programs

    • Local programs

    • EU funds

    • Resources of the beneficiaries

  • Mix different kind of measures at the same time

    • Needs of the households

    • Financial capacity

      Social composition of households can be very heterogenous

  • Ensure sustainability

    • income generation programs and

    • social support (benefits and social work)

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Implementation 2.

  • Assess the effect of housing measures on segregation!

  • Location matters

    • New construction should not reproduce segregation

    • Relocation people into integrated parts of the city – reduce the concentration of disadvantaged people in the neighbourhood

    • Inclusionary planning

      Primary target group – young adults: open up housing choices for them

  • Prior and follow up to housing interventions soft measures should be implemented

    • participatory planning and implementation

    • community development

    • empowerment: social work, training and employment programs

  • Sufficient level of intervention:

    • create visible and tangible changes in the neighbourhood

    • create transperent conditions for participating in the programs

Housing and segregation: some main points

  • Housing interventions in themselves do not cease segregation and break social exclusion!

  • Without tackling social problems housing interventions are not sustainable:

    • New/refurbished housing become deterriorated

    • Households cannot maintain housing of higher quality

  • To tackle segregation:

    • Decrease the concentration of disadvantaged people – mobilisation of people (fully or partly)

    • Improve physical and non-physical connections to the city

    • Increase the quantity and improve the quality of services

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Existing practices

Already existing practices only partially adoptable

Each program has positive and negative elements

Bad examples for sustainability – Plovdiv case, Bulgaria

Good examples:

participatory planning and implementation – Magdolna case, Budapest

Staircase model for integration – Dolny Kubin, Slovakia

Legalisation – Naga City; Bulgaria

Social mix – tenure mix, Netherlenland (Utrecht, Haga), France (Lyon)

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