HCLU and ERRC have contacted the ombudsman regarding evictions

HCLU (Hungarian Civil Liberties Union) and ERRC (European Roma Rights Center) have called into account Máté Szabó, Parliamentary Commissioner of Civil Rights in Hungary, with a corporate submission in order to conduct an investigation, and gain an explanation as to why people living in abject poverty are being evicted from local governments’ tenements- the equivalent of making them homeless. Specialists of HCLU Roma Programme, doing fieldwork in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplém county (Hungary), have received numerous annunciations from Roma families who had been evicted or were on the verge of being evicted by the local governments.

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In reference to already completed evictions, representatives have stated in several cases, that the property trustee of the local government damages the property in order to make it uninhabitable– this points to the fact that the purpose of the evictions is not to protect the assets of the local government, nor to increase their income.

The eviction of people living in abject poverty has serious sociopolitical effects.  It results in irreversible homelessness for the majority of these families.

In some cases, the local governments, as proprietors, rightfully terminate rental contracts and eject tenants, because of accumulated debt due to their underprivileged status.  In addition, according to the Lodging Law, local governments are neither supposed to extend fixed-term rental contracts when they expire, nor are they required justify their decision.

After all, increased responsibility of state and local governments does exists in this case: According to the standpoint of the two organizations that have applied to the ombudsman, through social provisions, the debts that prevent tenants (who are mainly of Roma origin) from paying the low rental costs of the local government’s housing, could be prevented.  

According to HCLU and ERRC, Hungarian social and legal provisions, such as those relating to the allocation of government housing, do not ensure the full protection of basic rights, and do not adequately prevent homelessness. Therefore, the aforementioned organizations have made various proposals to the Parliamentary Trustee of Civil Rights to increase the efficiency of family and debt aid, and propose to redefine local government authority on fixed-term rental contracts and current children’s rights.

 

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