Annual report on housing poverty in Hungary 2018 – English summary

2018. november 21.

At least 2-3 million people are affected by some form of housing poverty in Hungary, according to the conservative estimate of this year’s report on housing poverty. We define housing poverty according to four different aspects: tenure status, affordability, spatial accessibility and housing quality / energy efficiency. Those living under worse conditions than what would be minimally acceptable in any of these dimensions can be defined as experiencing housing poverty. 1.5 million people live in severe housing deprivation (i.e. in overcrowded living conditions coupled with other problems, such as damp walls, lack of adequate sanitation, etc.), and 80% of all (4.4 million) housing units do not correspond to contemporary energy requirements – which affects housing costs and housing quality as well. One third of all Hungarian households experience problems to afford their monthly housing costs (that is, their monthly housing costs in rent, credit instalments and utility bills are disproportionately high compared to their monthly income). Indebtedness is also an increasingly serious problem among Hungarian households: currently 1.4 million households (one third of all households) hold some kind of credit, out of which there are more than 400,000 with over 90 days’ delay in payment. Households in the lowest income quintile hold the highest share of all household credit, which makes them more prone to falling into a debt trap. Another important aspect of household indebtedness is related to utility costs: one sixth of all households has arrears of payment due over 60 days towards at least one utility provider.

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