Thessaloniki has created a body to protect against evictions

The creation of the Social and Affordable Housing Organization using the inactive building fund will provide vulnerable groups with a “roof over their heads,” said Maria Karayianni, President of MATH SA/AOTA and Deputy Mayor for Culture and Tourism of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, speaking at an extraordinary meeting of the municipal council on housing.

According to Ms. Karagianni, within the framework of MATH SA/AOTA actions in support of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, a “Housing Platform” will be created at the end of March. Information about housing policy will be provided in the form of an interactive map, the publication reports.

The actions that the body is empowered to develop, as defined by Ms. Karayianni, include the following:

Legal and technical studies of necessary legislative and institutional changes to facilitate the implementation of the right to housing. Legal support and informing tenants about their rights, support for tenant associations, social projects such as housing cooperatives, co-housing, etc. Legal assistance to persons facing eviction. Training programs for tenants on their rights. Management of real estate concessions and coordination with beneficiaries in cooperation with social services. Management of platforms for housing and real estate registration by individuals (platform of empty houses). Interventions for energy modernization and reconstruction of the municipal and private fund to manage at least 500 houses by 2025.

Two vectors of housing policy

Deputy Mayor for Finance Michalis Kupkas also spoke about the housing policy of the Municipality of Thessaloniki. According to him, the actions of the municipality are focused on two areas: the treatment and support of the homeless on the one hand and the promotion of socially and economically affordable housing on the other.

“The Municipality of Thessaloniki realized in time that the housing issue is of decisive importance for the balanced development of the city. He also understands that the lack of affordable housing creates a number of serious problems – said Mr. Kupkas – The Thessaloniki authorities are taking a good step in this direction. Of course, there is still a long way to go to the process of adopting other, more advanced, modern models related to this issue, requiring complex political decisions, which until today no mayor has dared to make. For example, the mayor of Freiburg in Germany, who put in place a mechanism to control rental prices.”

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