Ukraine

COVID-19 negatively affected the housing rights of some social groups

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The analysis of the impact of the pandemic on housing sphere demonstrates that the state policy requires improvements to consider the housing problems of the vulnerable groups

Kyiv, 29 September 2020 – The Analytical center Cedos with the support of the UNDP in Ukraine, analyzed how the pandemic of COVID-19 and lockdown measures affected housing rights of Ukrainians and how the state can improve the housing policy to protect the rights of the most vulnerable groups.

The results of the research showed that the support in the housing sector was provided unequally and did not considered interests of different social groups. The lack of support and protection of housing rights for some social groups put them in even more vulnerable position, specifically homeless people, survivors of domestic violence, refugees, internally displaced persons, and LGBTQI+ representatives.

UNDP Ukraine Project Manager of the “Human Rights for Ukraine” Svitlana Kolyshko, stressed that the pandemic extended existing inequalities between various social groups. “The results of the research showed that the pandemic identified the weakest spots in the area of housing policy. The Government should support not only the home owners and property developers, but also those who rent apartments, or do not have home,” underlined Kolyshko.

The government support targeted first of all the home owners by providing subsidies or uphold the penalties for the delays in paying utility bills. Also, the government supported the mortgage borrowers by providing credit holidays. The property developers were also supported by getting the permission to continue construction works.

On the contrary, the wellbeing of people who rent apartments was jeopardized because of lack of governmental support.

The analyst of the analytical center Cedos Pavlo Fedoriv mentioned that during the lockdown the gaps of the housing policies were not addressed and this had a negative impact on people’s housing and other rights.

“Home is the basic need for a person, and the right to housing is guaranteed by the Constitution of Ukraine and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. During the crisis the housing rights is of vital importance and it is necessary to ban eviction and to support tenants”, said Fedoriv.

The housing sector and the state policy of Ukraine require reforms to guarantee the right to housing for everyone. The pandemic and the lockdown raised the issue that far not everyone can “stay at home.” For a number of people, the home is not a place where they feel safe and the government can’t create conditions for safe self-isolation.

In the research, the analytical center Cedos provide specific short-term and long-term recommendations for achieving Sustainable development goals, specifically ensuring access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing.

More about the results and recommendations provided by expert check the infographics (in Ukrainian).

Background information

In terms of the research, the analytical center Cedos analyzed the decisions and draft decisions of the Ukrainian authorities and local self-government bodies adopted during the March – July 2020 in the housing and property development sectors. The analytical report is based on the monitoring results of the websites of the government bodies and local authorities, international organizations, media and based on the research interviews.

The research is implemented with the support of the Human Rights for Ukraine project implemented by UNDP in Ukraine and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. The opinions, attitudes, and assessments contained in the research do not necessarily reflect those of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark, the United Nations Development Programme or other UN Agencies.

Media inquiries:

Yuliia Samus, UNDP Communications Specialist, yuliia.samus@undp.org, +38 097 139 14 75