The need for organised housing structures for vulnerable groups
The concurrent crisis conditions in housing have affected people across all the EU Member States. According to Eurostat (2018), the problem of people living in overcrowded and/or inappropriate housing arrangements is on the rise. In Cyprus, the percentage of people living in such conditions appears to be low, however 45.4% of people have been recorder to be unable to keep their home adequately warm. Moreover, in the past year there have been repeatedly reported cases of property owners using their damaged establishments or unlawfully renting spaces to house vulnerable and marginalised people who can only afford cheap rent. As a result, most of these people end up living in poor conditions and overcrowded spaces.
Securing accommodation may be considered as one of the most important contributing factors towards social inclusion among vulnerable groups within a society. Gaining access to an affordable decent accommodation it increases vulnerable group’s standard of living and ensures their right to live with dignity and security.
Viable housing intervention
Reflecting on the aforementioned issue, CODECA designed and implemented a humane innovative intervention aiming to offer housing viable arrangements and solutions for vulnerable and socially excluded groups (i.e. immigrants and asylum-seekers). In particular, four independent shelters located in central points in Nicosia district were created. The shelters are fully equipped, including all the necessary amenities that any fully functional household needs. Currently, vulnerable families and individuals are hosted within the shelters. During their stay, they receive psychosocial support, emotional empowerment from a team of social scientists with the aim to promote the notion of an independent living. Moreover, by mobilising social networks of local NGOs, an effort is being made to facilitate and strengthen the social inclusion process of those vulnerable groups.
CODECA aspires to expand the undertaken action even further, by reducing the gaps and discrepancies in the housing policy!