Target: Ákos Kriza, Mayor of Miskolc
Goal: Prevent the forcible eviction of families living in the Numbered Streets district of Miskolc, and work together with families and NGOs to ensure that adequate alternative accommodations are provided.
Previously a vibrant community with “relatively well-maintained properties,” the Numbered Streets district of the Hungarian city of Miskolc has quickly become a disheveled ghost town, as forced evictions drive residents from their homes. The evictions, which have been carried out haphazardly and with little information provided to those affected, are in violation of Hungary’s equal treatment laws. Sign the petition and demand that the evictions be stopped until city authorities can meet with residents and advocates to come up with fair, legal, and sensible solutions.
The residents of the Numbered Streets district are primarily Roma families, who are no strangers to forced evictions and discriminatory treatment. They have been thus far provided with what Amnesty International calls “confusing and conflicting information” that has made it very difficult for them to make plans to seek alternative accommodations. Only about eight of the one hundred families remaining in the district have been provided with any sort of alternative accommodation. Even when accommodation is provided, it is often inadequate; one family was directed to a house in need of extreme repairs to make it livable. They were told that the money for repairs would be deducted from their rent, but even so, the patriarch of the family did not know how they would be able to afford the expense.
Hungary’s highest court ruled recently that the forced evictions violated the country’s equal treatment laws, as well as citizens’ rights to privacy and freedom of movement. However, the evictions are still apparently going forward, albeit in a very disorganized and roundabout manner. Sign the petition and urge authorities to put a hold on evictions until they can meet with residents and nonprofit advocates to discuss and agree upon appropriate next steps.
I am writing to urge you to halt the forced evictions of Miskolc’s Numbered Streets district. The evictions violate Hungary’s equal treatment laws and also infringe upon citizens’ right to privacy and freedom of movement. There has been ample opportunity to meet with both residents and NGOs who act as their advocates; I implore you to take advantage of these opportunities and find a solution that is both fair and easily understandable by all.
Many residents of the Numbered Streets district have complained–justifiably–that the conditions of their eviction are confusing and contradictory. Some have been granted extensions for remaining in their homes, but have not been given a date on which the extension will expire, which makes it extremely difficult for them to make plans to seek alternative housing.
Very few of the one hundred displaced families have been offered alternative accommodations. In at least one case, a family was offered a house in need of substantial and expensive repairs. While they were told that the cost of repairs would be deducted from their rent, the patriarch of the family still remarked that he didn’t know how his family would be able to afford the expense.
I urge you to work with residents and NGOs like the Order of Malta to prevent homelessness and to ensure that all residents of the district are offered fair compensation and/or alternative living arrangements following their evictions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Hochgeladen von Civertan