Home is a human need and a human right
The need of a roof over one’s head is a basic human need. This issue is discussed by a large number of international agreements, recognised by Poland. In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations in 1948 in the article 25(1) it states that everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including amongst others housing.
The right for housing aid is a constitutional right in Poland. In the article 75(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland it is stated that the public administration – including the central government and local authorities, is obliged to construct politics, which is favourable to satisfying housing needs of the citizens and in particular to counteracting homelessness, supporting social housing and other citizens’ activities leading to gaining their own housing.
Housing problems in Poland
In most studies concerning housing Poland is placed on one of the last places in the EU.
- There are too few housing units available – for every 1000 inhabitants there are 366 housing units and this is the lowest figure in Europe.
- There is a need for at least 500 000 new housing units at affordable prices, while currently there is only 3500 new social housing apartments being built every year.
- The already existing houses and apartments are often of inadequate standard – 45% of Poles live in overcrowding, 14% live in houses, which do not meet building standards, having no access to bathroom or running water.
- 46% of young Poles (24-35 yo) live together with their parents.
- 52% of Poles consider the lack of housing as one of the three most important issues troubling Polish families – next to low incomes and unemployment.