Join AVM’s March for Housing Rights, on October 8th !
The issue of homelessness has been one of the core concerns since the beginning of Migszol as a group. Migszol grew out of protests by a group of Afghani refugees in 2012 who were demonstrating against the threat of becoming homeless after having to leave the Bicske refugee camp. The Hungarian state back then and until now has consistently failed in its duties, under international law and basic moral decency, to provide adequate social assistance to refugees in Hungarian society. The lack of social services and money to help people start a life in Hungary, after they received their legal status of refugee in Hungary led to extremely precarious living conditions. The sad reality is that, for years now, many refugees in Hungary have been at risk of being homeless and for many refugees this has been one of the main reasons why they saw themselves forced to move on to another country.
In the last years we also had to observe an increase in the government's hateful racist rhetoric, which more and more creates an atmosphere of fear, with the last example being the campaign for the referendum.
One of the direct and negative consequences of the campaign is a decrease in the chances landlords would rent flats to refugees (a problem which people from Roma communities equally face) through production of fear and hate, which make the search for housing together with often existing language barriers even more precarious. Another one of the main efforts of the campaign has been to destroy solidarity between poor people and migrants/refugees by claiming it would be “the migrants, who take away social benefits”.
Especially in the light of the horrible propaganda of the last weeks, in which the government has tried to put migrants/refugees and people affected by poverty into opposition, we want to emphasize even stronger, that we won’t let the government’s propaganda work. We will stand in solidarity. Mussa, who came as refugee to Hungary and is a member of Migszol, summarizes the problems refugees have to face and their connection to general housing problems:
“When you escape from a country and you are recognized as a refugee you need to start a complete new life: start from zero. To do that you need 3 essentials: speak Hungarian, have a job and find a home. This is a vicious circle as you need all of them at once - but it is impossible. This was already the case 2 years ago but now the housing prices doubled and we are all in the same situation when it comes to face homelessness.”
Refugees face a very similar neglect and exclusion from Hungarian life as poor and homeless people. This is a shared struggle!
While the political atmosphere is definitely very frustrating and the precarity it produces is severe, it is still not able to suppress all positive initiatives.
There are some small grassroot initiatives, like for example Utcáról Lakásba Egyesület (From the street to a flat - an initiative renovating houses and giving it to people affected by housing poverty), who have done amazing work to try to fill some of the gaps of the government’s lack of social support. While it is outraging, that it has to be volunteers, who dedicate their free time to try make up for the government’s failures it is at the same time very motivating to see that such initiatives still exist and to recognize the sometimes enormous effect they have on people's lives.
One of those inspiring initiatives is the group AVM -- A Város Mindenkié (The city is for all) -- which fights for housing rights and proposes solutions for housing problem for all in Hungary, including refugees. They do amazing work and their support of Migszol’s campaigns is extremely important to us. We want to call you to join AVM’s annual march, The March for Housing Rights, which will take place this year on October 8th. AVM show how housing problems are produced and aims through pressure on the local government that has available EMPTY building in their hands to raise awareness and make those empty flats available.
Come and join us to support the right to housing. Everybody deserves decent living conditions!