R-HOME - Roma: Housing, Opportunities, Mobilisation and Empowerment


in Hungarian (PDF, 509 Ko)co-funded by the European UnionFinanced by the programme Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme, Call: REC-AG-2018, funded by the European Commission.

R-Home : #àdistancemaissolidaires

The research results of the project

Trapped in a hovel? Roma Housing Discrimination and Deprivation in European Cities

This research report presents the main findings of a qualitative survey on the problems of access to adequate housing for people who identify themselves as Roma.

The survey is based on 128 qualitative in-depth interviews and ten focus groups. One hundred one in-depth interviews were conducted with Roma living in difficult, deprived and segregated contexts. Twenty-seven interviews were conducted with policymakers, administrators, and activists, both locally and at regional and national levels. We studied in France the metropolitan area of Paris, in Italy the metro area of Milan, in Spain the metro area of Barcelona, in Hungary the cities of Gyöngyös and Miskolc, in Romania two municipalities in the historical region of Transylvania, in Singeorgiu de Mures (Mures County) and Sfântu Gheorghe (Covasna County), in the Orko neighbourhood.

This research report does not aim at comparing and analysing the urban and territorial specificities of the different cases. It analyses them together to highlight Roma's main issues in very precarious housing situations.
Interviews and focus group dialogues with experts and policymakers who discussed the importance of producing a renewed supply of social housing and improving existing residential units and the urban quality of more marginal neighbourhoods were also analysed.

The report is structured in three main sections, one related to housing conditions, the second one on housing discrimination, and the third one on policies and policies instruments—the conclusions highlight several design- and implementation-principles that emerge from the research.

Download the report here:

Mutual learning on Roma housing and participation

This booklet aims to summarise lessons learnt from some selected housing practices that are targeting the Roma directly or indirectly in some selected areas of France, Italy, Hungary, Romania and Spain, within the project R-HOME.

The booklet is based on 14 practices and aims to present relevant and remarkable policy instruments and successful projects of Roma housing and improved living conditions with positive experiences of Roma integration in the neighbourhood and of Roma participation in political, civil and cultural life, also through Roma associations, by highlighting the key factors favouring or hampering Roma active citizenship and social and civil involvement in their community. Furthermore, the project aims to identify comprehensive programs that cover not only housing, but more areas of integration as the vulnerability and poverty cycle of the Roma is reinforced by the complex interaction between disadvantageous and discriminatory situations in employment, education, access to health and public services, and can be influenced by both empowerment and anti-discrimination program elements.

Roma Claiming for their Rights to Housing. 

Watch the five short interviews with Roma people around Europe:

Watch the documentary featuring five Roma families talking about their life, aspirations, housing and empowerment:

The project

R-HOMER-HOME is a research project that addresses specifically the topic of Roma housing. Housing conditions of Roma minorities in most of European Countries is very bad and extremely discriminatory. Mechanisms and process of discrimination and exclusion have to be studied systematically and in a comparative manner, to be able to address precise policy instruments and regulations and improve inclusionary effects. Problems and solutions have to be discussed with Roma leaders and activists, to avoid top-down useless policy recommendations. The complexity of housing inclusionary policy have will discussed looking at four topics (leaving shanty-towns; anti-discrimination devices; social support in affordable housing; access to bank credit). For each of these topics, understanding trust norms between Roma and street level operators (housing market agents, bank agents, and social workers) is a primary objective: reaching a scientific understanding of social norms dynamics regulating non-discriminatory behaviour, trust, reciprocity and stereotypes brain-washing in the housing policies for vulnerable housing families. Equally, it is important to explore how such norms vary according to the residence type of the Roma communities (i.e. shanty-towns vs. official camps vs. public shelters, etc.), and in the interaction with social workers and other civil servants and private agents.

In previous researches many scholars underline a very high level of discrimination experienced by Roma to access to affordable housing, or even in the private housing market. This result has been confirmed by the 2015 Report on the implementation of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. Previous social work realized by the partner organisations of the R-Home project, as well as empirical researches realized by the CEE-Sciences Po, show astonishing stories of Roma discrimination in the housing market as well as forms of rejection from neighbours. At the same time, our researches on strategies to combat Roma discriminations point on the important role played by NGOs, teachers and social workers in promoting advocacy and mediate conflicts binding ties and helping durable integration. Here it is the puzzle. NGOs, social workers and teachers’ behaviours are not enough to help and support large process of durable housing integration. What are the mechanisms and policy process that help combatting housing discrimination? At this point we can make an hypothesis: anti-discrimination devices in public policy could be very effective in contrasting Roma stereotypes and discriminatory behaviour by private agents in the housing sector. But this is just a hypothesis! It requires to be articulated with concrete analysis on structural contexts of opportunities, to see if affordable housing units are safe and available, the quality of the housing offer and its price. We have looked carefully at the literature in scientific journals and in research reports, and there is a true lack of evidence-based evaluations of anti-discrimination programs in the housing sector addressing anti-gypsyism and Romaphobia.

The team at CEE will lead the development of an empirical research, conducted with a strong integration between rigorous research activities and participatory methodologies to listen to the voice of the concerned groups. The research project is carried out and implemented in accordance to the standard academic procedures for policy evaluation, with deontological consideration related to the participation of Roma in focus group and other research activities.

Our main goal is to implement an innovative research design on housing policies for Roma in France, Italy, Hungary, Romania, and Spain.
In particular, the research aims at the fulfilment of 4 knowledge objectives:
The four topics are related to improving our knowledge on:

  1. explicit policy targeting Roma living in slums and shanty towns;
  2. anti-discrimination devices for helping Roma accessing homeownership or tenancy;
  3. orms of social support to manage conflicts and help very vulnerable Roma individuals and families to integrate their neighbourhood and reduce the risk of housing instability;
  4. programs and projects aiming to improve the access to loans and credits in the formal bank system.

The research will include:

Structured interviews with interviewer concerning the 4 topics of the comparative research:

  • 5 interviews with experts on Roma issues per country (France, Italy, Romania, Hungary and Spain) (Total: 25 interviews)
  • 20 interviews with Roma people per country, including Roma activists (Total: 100 interviews)

Focus groups with Roma people

  • A classical method of participatory research will be implemented, listening directly the voice of Roma and their assessment of housing policies through focus groups. 2 per country (Total: 10 focus groups)

During the Covid-19 pandemic, project members are mobilizing to monitor how the health crisis is affecting the Roma minority, especially the most disadvantaged in poor housing conditions. In this article published in April 2020, Tommaso Vitale answers some questions about solidarity in times of confinement and assistance to vulnerable people.


8 partners institutions from 5 countries are involved. Partners are active in social, legal and educational domain and include NGOs, universities/research centers and public institutions. They are:

CEE Team & Contacts

Principal Investigator: Tommaso Vitale (tommaso.vitale@sciencespo.fr

Research Assistant: Anne-Cécile Caseau (annececile.caseau@sciencespo.fr) 


Three webinars in the continuity of work presented at an international conference from the ANR Marg-In and a dossier from the Revue Projet.

To know more on the R-Home project activities

In French:

Enquête transnationale sur le logement et les Roms

Cette enquête analyse les politiques de l’hébergement et du logement qui impactent les Roms en France, en Italie, Roumanie, Hongrie et Espagne, en cherchant à répondre à 4 objectifs de connaissance :

  • Les politiques qui visent explicitement les Roms vivant en bidonvilles, squats et autres situations de mal-logement.
  • Les mécanismes anti-discrimination qui aident les Roms à accéder au logement (propriété ou location)
  • Les formes de soutien social pour gérer les conflits, réduire les risques d’instabilité résidentielle, et aider les Roms vulnérables à trouver leur place dans leurs quartiers.
  • Les programmes et projets qui visent à l’amélioration de l’accès aux prêts et crédits dans le système bancaire formel.

Développement de connaissance réciproques sur le logement et l’empowerment des Roms

Ce travail d’analyse et d’approfondissement des connaissances réunit :

  • Les meilleures pratiques et les projets ayant connus du succès dans le domaine de l’accès au logement pour les Roms et des meilleures conditions de logement ;
  • Des expériences positives d’intégration des Roms dans leurs quartiers ;
  • Des expériences positives de participations des Roms dans les domaines politiques, associatifs et culturels, y compris dans des associations de Roms
  • Les facteurs clés qui favorisent ou entravent la citoyenneté active des Roms, et leur investissement social et citoyen dans leurs communautés

L’analyse de ces pratiques et de ces projets permettra d’élaborer des recommandations aux niveaux local, national et européen. Des visites de terrain seront organisées pour rencontrer les porteurs de ces projets et au sein de certaines institutions.

Empowerment de personnes roms pour une meilleure participation et la défense de leurs droits

Les activités liées à l’empowerment doivent viser à développer et promouvoir la participation des Roms et la promotion de leur participation dans la société. Ces activités doivent aussi les aider dans la défense de leurs droits.

R-Home s’appuie sur l’importance de l’empowerment et de la participation, et se dote pour cela de deux objectifs : fournir à des groupes de Roms des opportunités pour mieux connaître leurs droits, en particulier les droits liés au logement et les services liés ; la sensibilisation autour de l’importance de leur participation.

Des vidéos courtes seront produites pour souligner des trajectoires résidentielles positives de personnes Roms, et analyser ces trajectoires.

25 réunions d’information seront organisées à destinations des Roms et porteront sur le logement (droits, cadre institutionnel, les services et comment y accéder, des réseaux de soutien publics et privés) et l’empowerment (pourquoi les associations et les groupes militants jouent un rôle important dans le respect des droits et pour assurer une meilleure participation à la vie politique et citoyenne ; comment créer des associations ; comment travailler ensemble vers des buts communs).


Les enjeux d’accès au logement et l’inclusion sociale sont complexes : ces enjeux touchent à des politiques en matière de logement mais aussi les attitudes des citoyens envers les Roms. C’est pourquoi les autorités publiques et l’ensemble des citoyens doivent faire l’objet d’un travail de sensibilisation.

Il y aura 20 séminaires de sensibilisation et d’information adressés à des étudiants, des travailleurs sociaux dans les services publics et privés, ainsi que des bénévoles, afin de présenter les obstacles pratiques, légaux et administratifs qui entravent les trajectoires résidentielles des Roms et compliquent l’accès à leurs droits.

Le projet organisera aussi 4 événements locaux et une conférence transnationale afin de disséminer les résultats et les productions liées.

NB. The content of this website represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility.

The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains

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