Spain is the European country in which the greatest advances have been made in the housing integration of the Roma population. Nonetheless, it must be recalled that around 2.17% of Roma households continue to live in slums and 8.63% in substandard housing, especially in Galicia and Andalusia, according to the report "Study Map on housing and Roma population 2015" elaborated jointly by the FSG and the Spanish Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality.
Access to adequate housing is an essential precondition to the social promotion and integration of any person. For this reason, the FSG considers that more work is needed to address the housing inequalities affecting the Roma in relation to the majority population.
The universalisation of welfare policies and the access to social housing in desegregated urban contexts that took place in the 1970s and 80s allowed a significant improvement of the living conditions of many Roma, and played a key role in the social integration of the Roma community in Spain.
The absence of sustained and integral public housing policies, combined with the adverse evolution of the housing market in Spain since the late 1990s (defined by a high degree of speculation, rapidly rising price and debt levels) have offset the advances achieved for many Roma families, and caused a degradation of their situation in recent years: given that Roma continue to have higher fertility rates than the majority population in Spain, and that young Roma couples are increasingly unable to access adequate housing due to rising costs, there is a reappearance of phenomena such as overcrowding, slum dwelling, squatting, etc.
At the same time, neighbourhoods in which little public and private investment takes place and where the deterioration of the infrastructure and services is manifest also generate a deterioration of processes of integration and co-existence, which eventually lead to an abandonment of the neighbourhood by those who have the opportunity to do so, converting the latter into ghettoes and spaces of exclusion.
The current situation of economic crisis in Spain, a symptom of which is the scarcity of employment opportunities, is also affecting Roma families negatively, as their declining incomes make it difficult for them to comply with their rental or mortgage obligations, especially as banks have hardened their credit policies.
In this context, the interventions by the Area of Housing of the FSG contribute to developing one strategic line of action: facilitating the access of the Roma community to adequate housing in an inclusive and desegregated context.
DOCUMENTS ON HOUSING CONDITIONS OF ROMA COMMUNITY IN SPAIN