This year in light of the global housing and energy crisis, IUT has chosen to be inspired by the UN’s themes of Mind the Gap. Leave No One and Place Behind and World Cities Day focus on Act local to go global as the recommended themes when Tenants celebrate the International Tenants’ Day around the world.
Therefore, the IUT is calling for a moratoria on evictions, energy price caps and long-term climate allowances for low- and middle income households.
IUT President Marie Linder says:
– On the occasion of International Tenants Day, we call on governments taking their responsibility to protect vulnerable households affected by rent and energy arrears caused by inflation and energy price explosions. With the amended proposal for a new Energy Efficiency Directive, the European Parliament takes a step in the right direction.
But we need more, and not just in Europe: Governments should implement a cap on energy prices. Governments must implement moratoria on evictions and as well a cap on rent prices.
The war on Ukraine and the energy crises should not hit one of the most basic needs of human beings- the need for a safe and sound home.
Tenants in the whole world are united in their fight against housing exclusion and homelessness and to make housing decent and affordable for all.
Read more in our full press release.
Celebrations at a glance:
The association for the protection of the rights of tenants in, APDLC, have successfully celebrated the international day of tenants in South Kivu.
Czechia: Milan Taraba, chairman of the Czech Tenants’ Association interview: read the English translation
On the occasion of International Tenants’ Day, Milan Taraba, chairman of the Tenants’ Association in the Czech Republic was invited to public television. Here is a translation of the interview:
Editor: World Housing Day was celebrated for the first time in 1986 under the name Shelter is my right. What emphasis do we place in the Czech Republic on ensuring that even the socially weak have decent housing?
M.Taraba: This fact appears in all government statements over the past 20 years. The problem is that it hasn’t always been successful. We had two draft laws. The first Act on Social Housing and the second Act on Affordable Housing. Although we had intensive negotiations with representatives of the relevant departments, the Ministry of Regional Development and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and despite the promises of the ministers at the time, it was not possible to enforce it and the laws fell under the table. We are now in a new situation (note: after the parliamentary elections in October 2021) and next week we’ll have meetings in both ministries. I hope we can get results this time.
Editor: How important is the current situation, the economic crisis, inflation, high interest rates. How does this increase the pressure on rental housing?
M. Taraba: We are not living in an easy situation at all, which is difficult not only here, but also in Europe and the whole world, thanks to the effects of the energy crisis and inflation. That is why the IUT World Organization wants us to address these issues. Above all, it concerns the energy sector. Housing allowances and other measures are welcome. Some things need to be improved, for example in some big cities housing costs are different in peripheral parts and attractive locations, but contributions are formulated uniformly for the city in question. Contributions are set until the end of this year, but applicants can apply retroactively. However, there is insufficient information, people seek help too late and may lose their housing. We have 29 counseling centers throughout the Czech Republic and we are happy to help citizens fill out forms.
Editor: More people are now eligible for housing allowance. Could it also have a negative impact as apartment owners often don’t like to rent apartments to people on benefits and may increase security deposits?
M. Taraba: Yes, of course, the impact is here. There are other forms in the world, mainly rental housing in the public sector, i.e. cities and municipalities.Municipalities set rents for socially needy people at the cost level, because municipalities serve as a social guarantor. There is a shortage of these apartments in the Czech Republic, as they were first privatized below cost and then owner-occupied housing was mainly supported, as people wanted such housing. And today we have the problem you mentioned. The defense for contracts for an indefinite period is the possibility to increase the rent by only 25% in 3 years. Deposits are currently one month, precisely because of the economic situation.
Editor: Is it appropriate to return to the subject of rent regulation at this time?
M. Taraba: We have a different opinion on this topic. Cannot set prices centrally. We like the German model, the so-called rent mirror, which is set by the municipality, determines the limits for the given location, and both contracting parties agree on the amount of the rent. The rent mirror is approved by councils, tenants’ organizations and courts. This ensures economic balance for all parties for 4 years. After the four-year period, if the economic situation is different, the conditions will be adjusted. This is how it can work. That’s not regulation.
Editor: Price maps do not work here? Because that was exactly the road when rent control was abolished.
M.Taraba: Here it is a huge problem, because someone thought that the price maps could be set by the state. And that is nonsense. Price maps are concluded on the basis of contracts according to statistics in municipalities. on the example of Germany, we can see the satisfaction of the contracting parties. No one is judged, the owner has a guaranteed income, the apartments are fully occupied and the tenant has contractual security. On the contrary, there are frequent lawsuits in the Czech Republic.
Editor: When we mentioned the zero years and the decisions of the Constitutional Court regarding rent regulation, the relations between the Tenants’ Association and the homeowners’ organizations were heated. What is the relationship between landlords and your tenant representation organization now?
M.Taraba: We have good cooperation with the Rental Housing Association, which are representatives of the largest groups of apartments rented in the Czech Republic. They need apartments to occupy, they value long-term tenants who do not destroy property. The problems are with the owners of investment apartments. We didn’t get to cooperate there. For one thing, because there is a chain of contracts that raises inflation, they give tenants one-year contracts and make extensions conditional on a rent increase or eviction.
Editor: If the tenant finds himself in a situation where he does not have the means to pay the rent, what should he do to avoid the risk of termination of the lease?
M.Taraba: We recommend applying for a benefit in material need, which we will be happy to help with in our counseling rooms. The problem is with the functioning of the employment offices where benefits are processed. Processing often takes a very long time. Of course, it also depends on the willingness of officials.
Watch the interview (in Czech) at 51:05 https://www.ceskatelevize.cz/porady/10101491767-studio-ct24/222411058061003/. Czech Television – Studio ČT24 – 3 October 2022
Freja Forum Foundation in cooperation with IUT and organisations for tenants in Sweden, Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia are inviting you to a celebration of World Habitat Day and International Tenants’ Day.
Freja Forum Foundation in cooperation with IUT, organisations for tenants in Sweden, Bosnia-Herzegovina and North Macedonia are inviting you to a celebration of World Habitat Day and International Tenants’ Day.
The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as a World Habitat Day, since 1985. On the same day, we are celebrating International Tenants’ Day. This year on the 3rd October 2022, the Global Observance of World Habitat Day, under the theme Mind the Gap. Leave No One and Place Behind, will look at the problem of growing inequality and challenges in cities and human settlements.
Housing is a fundamental right in every society and therefore needs to be adressed locally, nationally and internationally.
The Norwegian Tennants Union, Reduser Husleia and Boligopprøret are hosting the international tennants day, for the first time in Oslo, on October 3rd. We will have panel discussions on alternative housing models, activism and organizing, speeches, concerts, DJ and food in the evening. We will serve food and everything is free. All renters are welcome!
1200 – 1500 in Borggata 2B (FAFO-offices): Panel discussions.
From the ownership line to renters rights – how does good rented homes look like? Conversation between renters and non-profit housing projects.
From activism to organizing – how can renters organize for just housing policy?
Lunch with food and drinks
1500 – 1630: Guided tour in the neighborhood of Gamle Oslo. We visit public housing buildings, talk to resident who are organizing and examine failed and successful housing projects.
1700 – evening programme at Cafeteatret, Hollendergata 8: Family friendly concert with Bydyra and open mic
We are serving soup for the adults and pizza for the children.
The rest of the evening will continue with DJ and open mic. Everything is free – see you there!