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Czech Republic has 68,500 homeless people

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Prague, June 10 (CTK) – There are about 68,500 homeless people in the 10.5-million Czech Republic and the housing of almost 120,000 others, including children, is uncertain or unsuitable and they face the threat of losing it, according to a report the cabinet will discuss on Wednesday.

The report describes the fulfilment of the plan of homelessness prevention, which a previous cabinet approved in 2013 as the first plan of its kind. It outlines measures to be taken until 2020.

“Out of the estimated total number of the homeless, 23.6 percent are women, 11.9 percent children under 18 and 10.3 percent people above 65,” the report says, referring to a survey on homelessness in cities and towns.

According to municipal social workers, the most frequent causes why people lose housing are debts, alcohol addiction and unemployment.

Out of the 28 tasks within the government’s homelessness prevention plan, ministries have been fulfilling 16, while the remaining 12 tasks have been fulfilled only partly.

In the case of five tasks, the deadline for their completion should be postponed by one or two years, because it depends on legislation yet to be passed, such as the planned laws on social housing and social business activities, and an amendment to the social services law, the authors of the report write.

They say the plans to subsidy the construction of flats and the operation of social services remain unfulfilled.

Furthermore, the state should draft guidelines for how to solve the debts faced by the lowest-income inhabitants who are threatened with losing housing or have lost it already.

The fulfilment of this task depends on the passing of the bill on social housing, which the cabinet approved earlier this year but it still needs to be discussed by parliament.

The planned adaptation of asylum houses so that whole families in need can settle there depends on the passing of an amendment to the social services law, which has been completed but still needs consent of the government and parliament.

Unlike the above two pieces of legislation, the bill on social business activities aimed to boost the employment of homeless people has not been drafted yet and the cabinet cannot push it through before the October general election, the report writes.

The tasks concerning health care for the homeless have been fulfilled to an extent only, and the relevant deadlines also need a postponement, the report says.

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