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A new handbook on creating a social housing agency has been published by Utcáról Lakásba Egyesület (From Streets to Homes Association), a key partner in the European End Street Homelessness Campaign, hosted by World Habitat.

The policy handbook, funded through World Habitat’s Innovation Fund, is aimed at transferring Streets to Homes Housing Association’s award-winning social housing agency to new local municipalities in Hungary. Utilising the policy expertise of the Budapest Institute, the new handbook is being launched in Budapest and shared on a standalone website here.

There are around three million people living in housing poverty in Hungary today, and Budapest itself is suffering from a major shortage in homes for social rent. Housing poverty is a nationwide issue, with:

  • homes in poor condition;
  • crowded housing;
  • people who can barely afford to pay rent; and
  • people who are struggling with debt.

Social housing agencies, such as From Streets to Homes Housing Association, offer a genuine alternative solution for people moving way from street homelessness. This handbook introduces the housing agency model and provides practical steps, solutions and risk assessments for other municipalities to set up their own agencies.

Vera Kovács, Vice President of Utcáról Lakásba Egyesület (From Streets to Homes Association), said:

“’We are very happy to see that more and more municipalities are interested in innovative solutions for easing the housing crisis. Our work shows that it is possible for social work NGOs – working in partnership with local municipalities – to bring privately-owned empty homes back into use. This is an important part of the solution to Hungary’s housing crisis, and we look forward to the model being adopted in new areas.”

Patrick Duce, Programme Lead (Homelessness) at World Habitat, said:

“The European End Street Homelessness Campaign is focused on sharing and promoting innovative housing solutions, particularly in some of the most challenging housing contexts in Europe. No one organisation alone can address systemic housing inequality. We are delighted to fund Utcáról Lakásba Egyesület (From Streets to Homes Association) through our Innovation Fund, enabling them to share their award-winning work with others in Hungary.”

The full manual is available to read online in Hungarian here (translation tools needed).

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