According to a recent comparative analysis prepared by the Bertelsmann Foundation, 28% of EU children and youth live in conditions of poverty or social exclusion, writes vg.hu. In Hungary this number is 43%, with every third child living in conditions of serious material deprivation. Of the 28 EU member countries, only Bulgaria is worse.
Habitat for Humanity Hungary points out that, while the average quality of flats continues to improve, 170,000 children live in flats with no toilet, 136,000 in homes with no bathroom, 197,000 in homes with no electricity and 620,000 in homes that are moldy or damp. In Hungary today 65% of families with children and 78.1% of families with three or more children live in overcrowded conditions. One fifth of families with three or more children cannot properly heat their homes either because the heating system is of bad quality, the home is not insulated or the windows are of bad quality.
Habitat for Humanity perceives poor living conditions as a serious obstacle to social-economic improvement. It believes a solution would be a real social flat rental program to provide adequate housing to those without homes or living in substandard housing. At present only 10.4% of Hungarians rent flats, 13.8% of those living in poverty live in social flats, 3.7% rent flats at market price and 19.1% have mortgages.
According to the Central Statistical Office, there are 4.4 million flats in Hungary but only 4.1 million households. Roughly 3 million people live in substandard accommodation: flats that are either unsuitable for human habitation, run down, overcrowded, encumbered with serious debts or situated in remote areas without ready access to social, education and cultural services. The figure includes those living with their parents or other relatives, in dormitories and other group accommodations, as well as those sleeping rough in public areas, according to vg.hu.
The number of council flats for rent in Hungary has decreased from 200,000 in 1999 to 115,000 in 2014.