Access to Land and Housing Aspects of the Greek Roma
This paper presents the findings of recent research conducted by the authors at the National Technical University of Athens on the land tenure and housing aspects of Roma in Greece, their access to affordable housing and land, their legal rights to land, and the relevant legislation passed in recent years. Literature published by the relevant Greek institutes in print and online was searched, and on-site visits and interviews with Roma representatives and the Greek local authorities were conducted to identify both good practice and outstanding problems in Attica, the greater Athens region. The paper examines the current situation of the Roma in Europe, including the attempted classification of Roma's land tenure system and the policies adopted by the UN and the European Union to improve the legality of land tenure and infrastructure of Roma settlements. Next, the situation of the Greek Roma's land tenure and housing options are investigated. The Roma's spatial distribution in Greece is identified and presented, together with relevant statistics. A case study of two municipalities in western Attica provides in-depth information about the housing situation of the Roma, their land tenure rights, and progress made in neighborhood regeneration. Thoughts and proposals for land reforms that would help the Roma become economically more viable are offered.
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