Article Text

Download PDFPDF
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}


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

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • 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:
    Beck Depression Scale
    European Union
    health impact assessment

Linked Articles

  • In this issue
    Carlos Alvarez-Dardet John Ashton