Housing distress an increasing problem in Moravia-Silesia

The number of people in Moravian Silesian region who are at risk of losing their housing or living in unsatisfactory conditions has been growing, Czech Radio reported. At the moment, over 4,000 households in Ostrava,north Moravia are threatened by housing distress. The main factors behind the alarming trend are rising housing prices combined with low incomes.

The increasing number of people affected by the shortage of affordable housing is reflected in the number of people in shelters and dormitories.

"As far as shelters and dormitories are concerned, the increase is noticeable. When it comes to elderly users, their numbers here in Ostrava have grown by 60 percent since 2018," Tomáš Surovka, the director of the Salvation Army in Ostrava, told Czech Radio.

Illustrative photo: Barbora Němcová | Illustrative photo: Barbora Němcová,  Radio Prague International

According to Jiří Navrátil, Ostrava’s deputy mayor and governor for social affairs, the situation in the city is the worst in the region:

"There are approximately 4,230 households in Ostrava that are currently in housing distress. In Havířov, it is 700, and in Karviná some 960," Mr Navrátil told Czech Radio.
The situation is caused not only by rising rental prices but also due to the towns’ small housing capacity of the towns.

"The city has the largest number of people per square metre. You need to have a sufficient housing capacity for them, but it just isn't there," says Marcela Stryjová, director of preventive services at the Salvation Army.

According to Ostrava’s deputy mayor, the situation could be improved by increasing investment in social housing. The region is now waiting for the approval of a new law on social housing, which should provide subsidy programmes for construction and reconstruction of social housing.