Social housing reconstruction camp

1st Prize 2011

Country: Hungary

Region: Implemented nationwide

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Work, Poverty, Community development

Project owner: Foundation for the College for Advanced Studies in Social Theory

Responsible person: Vera Kovács

What is it about?

The aim of our project is to help disadvantaged families living in run-down tenements owned by local municipalities, generally struggling with rent-arrears. We carry out renovations involving young volunteers and the mostly unemployed locals within the framework of a „construction camp”. The increase in the value of the buildings bring about by the renovations is credited to the tenants thus reducing their arrears of rent.

Appreciation of the Jury

The shortage of housing is a widespread symptom of poverty in Hungary. These students have noted the problem and are developing a project here with multiple impacts: houses are being renovated, energy costs slashed and rent arrears reduced; collaboration with (inter)national volunteers has injected new life into the settlement with the community exchanging rent arrears for an improvement in the value of the housing stock. The enthusiasm of the project instigators is certainly beginning to bear fruits. Fantastic political and social sensitivity is developing into concrete support. We very much hope that there will be lots more Social Housing Reconstruction Camps to come – with exemplary results!