In Hungary there is an urgent and increasing need for social rental housing and central housing support, however, the government promotes ownership for financially privileged households. As part of our advocacy program, Habitat for Humanity Hungary has called attention to the rights of people living in housing poverty many times.
We criticized in our stataments the new housing policy measures of the government, which are mostly available for wealthier classes and support ownership.
Habitat for Humanity Hungary has drawn attention public attention to the injustice of the housing subsidy system with an online game called "Smart Housing". We continue to emphasize in our annual reports that people living in housing poverty are getting much less from the central budget to improve their circumstances, while there is much more funds spent on the promotion of property purchase by wealthier households.
The game allows players to choose characters with different income and backgrounds, and then experience what forms of help would be available to them for their housing. At the end of the game the distribution of funds and the comparison of different characters makes it obvious: it is usually those in a better financial and housing situation that are given more benefits. The game has got a great press coverage, it has been featured on television, in radio interviews and on the front pages of several websites. 2500 persons played the game in the month of its launch.
Tens of thousands live in homelessness and there is a growing number of families living at rik of losing their homes in Hungary. Habitat Hungary believes that in this situation the government should prioritise targeted support for those living in housing poverty, for example by increasing the number of social rental opportunities and benefits helping poor families pay their housing cost.