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HFHR’s opinion on amendment to Tenants Protection Act

The HFHR has presented comments to the government’s draft amendment to the Act on the protection of rights of tenants, municipal housing resources and to the Act on the financial support for the creation of social and protected housing units, and night shelters and homeless homes.

The commented draft law removes several obstacles to the performance of public authorities’ duty to provide social and replacement housing and to satisfy the housing needs of low-income households, which must be clearly assessed as a positive step.

However, the HFHR critically commented on the lower standard of protection against eviction into the street proposed in the draft amendment. The draft allows such evictions in winter and deprives particularly vulnerable persons (pregnant women, persons with disabilities) of protection against eviction.

“The proposed law creates an opportunity for the legislators to take into consideration several objections that the HFHR has continuously been raising in respect of the protection of tenants of flats for personnel of uniformed services against eviction into the street and the regulations governing temporary accommodation. We trust that our comments will be taken into at further stages of the legislative process”, Foundation’s lawyer Adam Ploszka notes.

The Helsinki Foundation has also objected to amendments to the provisions of temporary accommodation available for those evicted persons who are not entitled to community housing accommodation. The opinion highlights that given the fact that under the current law even a car garage satisfies the requirements of temporary accommodation, people may be evicted to such facilities. Although, in theory, the purpose of temporary housing accommodation was to prevent evictions into the street, in practice the measure has failed to attain this goal. “This is because the Act enables a ‘phased’ eviction into the street”, the opinion reads.

“The provisions reviewed by the HFHR may be considered incompatible with the right to housing and the right to a person’s dignity”, Mr Ploszka observes. “In our opinion, their enactment may be unconstitutional”, he adds.

The opinion may be viewed here.


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