Other research on Roma segregation




Segregation in Roma Housing

This page reports on my research in the 2003 International Policy Fellowships program.

Narrative Report / 2003

May 10, 2004

Presentation of Final Research Results

I have presented the research results at the Central European University, during the IPF seminar in March 2004 (together with a documentary film on the Piatra-Neamt community), and at the National Conference of Sociology and Social Work, Cluj-Napoca, May 7-9 2004.
I will also present the results at the International Housing Conference organized by the Center for Urban and Community Studies at the University of Toronto, June 24-27 (see here the abstract of the presentation)

Dissemination of Interim Research Findings
July 2003: I have presented the research project and the interim findings at the New Europe College, Bucharest.
January, 2004: I have participated in the research team of the Center for European Studies on Ethnic Issues (CESPE) who ellaborated a list of indicators to be used in monitoring Phare-supported housing projects in Roma communities.
January 26, 2004: I have presented the two documentary films (Piatra-Neamt, and Sintana de Mures) at the New Europe College, in front of a general audience of about 30 persons.
February, 2004: A preliminary policy paper was distributed to the Resource Center for Roma Communities, who was at that time in charge with developing guidelines for housing projects in Roma communities funded by the Phare program.

Preliminary findings have been distributed to mentors and to the following persons / organisations:
* Otvos Geza, President, WASSDAS, Cluj-Napoca
* Florin Moisa, President, CRCR, Cluj-Napoca
* Maria Ursu, Project Coordinator, CRCR, Cluj-Napoca
* Diana Mitlin, Researcher, International Institute for Environment and Development - IIED
* Cristian Popa, Agenda 21 - Mayoralty of the Municipality of Targu-Mures
* Prof. Janos Ladanyi, CEU
* New Europe College, Bucharest
* The research results have been presented within the CEU Summer School "The Roma", July 6 - 26, directed by prof. Michael Stewart

Methodology: Document Analysis

I have reviewed the following documents:
* International conventions on human rights, particularly on housing rights (UN and EU documents)
* Romanian legislation and Governmental Strategies in the field of poverty, social exclusion, the right to housing and the provision of social housing, and fighting discrimination
* Mass-media articles on Roma issues in the period August 2002 - March 2003, as they have been monitored by InfoRrom, edited by Aven Amentza, Bucharest
* Literature on issues such as: social housing policies; community development; communication within asymmetrical relationships; "ghetto" neighborhoods and urban marginality

Methodology: Interviews and Field Visits

In September 2003 I have continued interviews with residents in Zabrauti, Bucharest; I have completed a second round of field visits in Piatra-Neamt and Tirgu-Mures; and I have also visited Roman. In each field trip I have interviewed residents in marginal neighborhoods, and authorities (see lists of respondents below). I the first two cases I have also filmed some of the interviews, and I realized two brief documentaries together with Ciprian HOMM.

Piatra-Neamt, September 2004 (together with Vera Mitroi) I have interviewed:
- Floarea Nistor, public servant, administrator of GOC neighborhood
- The civil servant in charge with the Department of Social Work, the Mayoralty of Piatra-Neamt
- Mr. Ghiocel, resident, administrator of D2 building, Tiparului Street
- Residents from three neighborhoods: Tiparului, Siretului, and GOC

Targu-Mures and Santana de Mures, September 2004 (together with Anca Tomsa) I have interviewed:
- Mr. Costel, local pentecostal pastor of Chinari community, in charge with the new neighborhood
- Ms. Szombat, resident, administrator of block 24 on Rovinari street
- Residents from Chinari village and Rovinari neighborhood

Roman, September 2004 (together with Vera Mitroi) I have interviewed:
- The Mayor
- The official in charge with the Social Protection department of the Town Hall
- The two resident administrators of the Fabricii neighborhood
- Tenants in the Fabricii neighborhood
- The local School director
- The teacher from the local school

Previous field visits:

Cluj, February 2003

I have visited the two colonies of evicted people, and I have interviewed the following persons:

* Dana Tarnovski, EDRC (Ethno-Cultural Diversity Resource Center)
* Florin Moisa, CRCR (Resource Center for Roma Communities)
* Maria Ursu, CRCR
* Claudia Macaria, CRCR
* Otvos Geza, WASSDAS
* Inhabitant of Pata Rat colony "Canton"

A petition draft adddressed (with my support) by the inhabitants of Byron 15 building, expecting eviction, towards the Ombudsman, has been rejected and redirected towards local authorities.

Budapest, March 2003 I have visited the following institutions and organisations:
* The Minority Ombudsman (discussion with Regenyi Eszter)
* European Roma Rights Center (discussion with Tara Bedard, researcher, and Ioana Banu, attorney)
* NEKI (discussion with Bodrogi Bea)

Bucharest, March-May 2003

I have interviewed the following persons:
* Cristian Jura, President CNCD
* Vasile Burtea, Councilor for Roma Issues, People's Attorney (The Ombudsman)
* Mihaela Al Bashtawi, Councilor in the Department for Urbanism, Ministry for Public Works and Transportation

I have also applied for data on eviction files recorded at the Ombudsman.

Targu Mures, April 2003

In Targu Mures I was accompanied by my fieldwork assistant Anca Tomsa, student in the Department of Sociology, Bucharest University. I have visited the Roma neighborhood of Rovinari 24, which includes a building that is planned for eviction, and the social housing quarter built by the Mayoralty in the neighboring locality of Santana de Mures. I have conducted short interviews with:

* Nicolae Turcata, Expert for Roma Issues within the Prefectura
* Dana Ijac, Director of the Planning Department within the Municipality
* Mircea Farcasan, Director of SC LOCATIV SA, the company in charge with managing the social housing buildings.
* Istvan Haller, Foundation "Liga Pro-Europa"
* Radu Balas, editor at "24 Ore Muresene" newspaper.
* Viorel Bubau, mayor at Santana de Mures (rural locality bordering Tg. Mures.)

In the Rovinari 24 building I have applied a brief questionnaire to all families which have been living illegally and which have been at risk of becoming homelessness following eviction. I have collected signatures for two petitions: one for the Ombudsman, requiring a solution for those families living illegally, and one for the local Mayoralty requiring better relocation for those families living legally and who have regularly paid their rent, electricity and water bills.

I have also reviewed a large number of issues of the local newspaper "24 Ore Muresene", looking for articles covering the situation in Rovinari neighborhood.

Piatra Neamt, May 2003

In Piatra Neamt I was accompanied by Anca Tomsa, fieldwork assistant. We have interviewed the Mayor of Piatra Neamt, Mr. Ion Rotaru, and we have visited and conducted interviews in several Roma neighborhoods:

* The "GOC" neighborhood (close to "Speranta" neighborhood, in the Izvoare area): here Roma inhabitants from evicted buildings are being relocated
* The "Lenin" neighborhood: one building has been evicted, and another one, inhabited mostly by Roma people, is planned for eviction (and relocation in GOC)
* The "Siretului" neighborhood: the building isplanned for eviction and relocation. Families with horses and carriages will be relocated in a area close to the waste disposal facilities of the town, which is currenty being arranged.

We have also visited the factory that builds housing compartments out of train wagons, investigating the costs and the final appearance of these units.

Cluj-Napoca, July 2003

In this field trip I was accompanied by Leonard Sultanescu, fieldwork assistant. We have visited the Pata Rat 3 colony and the Byron 15 block, speaking to some inhabitants about the life in neighborhood. We have also interviewed the follwing persons:
- Mircea Gavrila, Cluj-Napoca Mayoralty, Deputy Mayor
- Mircea Abrudan, Cluj-Napoca Mayoralty, Department of Control
- Mircea Zidarescu, Cluj-Napoca Mayoralty, expert on Roma issues
- Titi Marius, Cluj-Napoca Mayoralty, Roma Expert
- Vasile Magradean, Monitorul de Cluj, reporter
- Bert Looij, Fundatia Ajutorul Familiei, social worker and pastor
- Ioana Francisca Etves, Wassdas, project coordinator

Budapest, July 6 - 26

In this period I have attended the CEU Summer School "The Roma", directed by Prof. Michael Stewart. It has been a challenging opportunity for me to meet researchers engaged in related topics (such as Prof. Paloma Gay Y Blasco, Prof. Janos Ladanyi, Zsuzsa Vidra) and to understand better the housing situations of the Roma people in Hungary. During the Summer School fieldwork (July 16-17) I have interviewed experts in the Mayoralty of Jaszberenyi, in the departments of Social Housing and Social Welfare, and we have also had a brief discussion with the Mayor, including topics related to housing. The film "Meddo", by Tamas Almasi, was presented during the school, followed by a discussion about Roma evictions in Hungary.
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