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Rapid health impact appraisal of eviction versus a housing project in a colony-dwelling Roma community
  1. Karolina Kósa1,
  2. Ágnes Molnár1,
  3. Martin McKee2,
  4. Róza Ádány1
  1. 1
    Faculty of Public Health, Centre of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Debrecen, Hungary
  2. 2
    London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
  1. Karolina Kósa, MD, PhD, Faculty of Public Health, Medical and Health Science Centre, University of Debrecen, H-4028 Debrecen, Kassai út 26/b, Hungary; k.kosa{at}sph.dote.hu

Abstract

Background: During implementation of a community development project involving a severely disadvantaged Roma community, the community was threatened with eviction. Two scenarios, eviction with placement on the waiting list for social housing versus a replacement housing development, were identified and specified. A health impact assessment (HIA) was carried out to inform subsequent negotiations.

Aims: To assess the health effects of eviction in comparison with that of a housing project for a Roma community; to make recommendations on short-term and long-term benefits of the two scenarios in order to inform the local government; and to develop a demonstration HIA that can act as a model for other disadvantaged Roma populations.

Method: A prospective assessment, based on a broad model of health, was carried out to assess health effects of a housing project compared with eviction. By design, it ensured full involvement of members of the community, local decision makers and relevant stakeholders.

Results and conclusion: This HIA identified numerous positive and some probable negative health effects of a housing project. Despite the uncertainty around some of its predicted effects, the overall health benefit of a housing project clearly outweighed that of eviction. Although the immediate financial advantages of eviction for the municipal government are clear, this example provides further evidence to support the adoption of a statutory requirement to assess both economic and health outcomes. It also provides an example that other Roma communities can emulate.

  • Gypsies
  • Roma
  • eviction
  • health effect assessment
  • housing

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Footnotes

  • Funding: This work was supported by ETT 445/2003 of the Ministry of Health, Social and Family Affairs; 3017/13/2003-0017 NÜF of the Ministry of Health and NKFP-1B/0013/2002 of the Ministry of Education of Hungary. These funding agencies had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, or interpretation and writing of the paper.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Further research has been submitted for publication: Kósa K, Daragó L, Fülöp I, et al. Research on Roma people living in colonies: the difficulty of being reliable.

  • Abbreviations:
    BDS
    Beck Depression Scale
    EU
    European Union
    HIA
    health impact assessment

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