Good practice examples
Prevention of homelessness: The Salvation Army Czech Republic model
Homeless prevention programme, Ostrava, Brno and Bohumin, Frydek Mystek and Praha
Due to a lack of social housing available in the Czech Republic, as well as the high number of eviction rates amongst particularly low income families and Roma, The Salvation Army (Armada Spasy) has developed a programme to help prevent homelessness.
Social Tenancies: The Salvation Army takes the Risk
Owners of flats including the municipal authorities, agencies, private owners and large industrial companies were reticent to rent apartments to high risk tenants. In cooperation with The Salvation Army, an apartment is made available, The Salvation Army takes the risk with regards to the rent, and the tenant agrees to go through the prevention programme that helps tenants learn how to maintain their tenancy amongst other social skills. After completing the course the tenant takes over the tenancy and becomes a normal tenant and another apartment is then made available to the The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army has approximately 270 – 300 flats located in 5 cities including Prague. Between 7-10% of clients have to either return to the hostel accommodation or are expelled. That means there is a 90-93% success rate.
All apartment rents are set at social rent level in line with housing benefit.
ESF funding is used to initiate a pilot in new towns with an agreement that the municipality or regions who will take over after the funding finishes.
This programme offers support and advice to help people maintain their tenancy and is open to all, including Roma. The service strengthens their social inclusion and aims to enhance the skills, knowledge and awareness of tenants, enabling them to independently manage the demands associated with employment housekeeping, parenting and child care. It also helps people to access their rights, enjoy supportive social relationships encouraging them to care for themselves, physically and emotionally.
We give practical teaching on budgeting, learning how to regularly pay for rent and energy bills. Guidance and teaching on cooperation in solving problematic situations (interpersonal relationships, searching for work), and to resolve problems connected with accommodation i.e.: technical issues, repair work. We aim to help prevent abuse of social allowances, to motivate people to find work, and encourage them to allow their children to receive education.