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Cities have lost a tool that made people move

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There is a vicious circle connected to the housing of socially weak people in the Czech Republic. They are often offered housing in older buildings with less amenities, which leads to a lower standard of living. While a lower level of luxury for people that are less well-off is expected, these conditions are often very drastic, as molds often grow on their walls and clean water can be an issue. Nevertheless, many of those living in such building often end up paying extortionate prices, which seldom let them get back up on their feet. The owners of these buildings know how much money these people are getting from the government, and they rob them of that money, without even using it to repair their building. Up until now, cities across Czechia had a tool, that was designed for fighting this, but reportedly never actually worked. Local governments were able to set up ‘no-benefit zones’ in which the socially weak could not ask for benefits to pay for housing, hoping that this economic vicious circle would be broken, and parts of cities full of the socially weak would not form. However, this countermeasure ended up hurting the victims more than the housing providers causing the problem, as the socially weak had to move anytime a zone was set up, and often ended up in a different building with the same issues. Thus, the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic now forbids the use of these zones by the cities, as it was found out to do more harm than good, with some arguing that it limited the fundamental human rights of the socially weak. Hopefully, the government will one day offer a more helpful tool, which will break this vicious housing circle for good.

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