Health impact assessment and evaluation of a Roma housing project in Hungary

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An outstanding feature of marginalized Roma communities is their severely substandard living conditions, which contribute to their worse health status compared to the majority. However, health consequences of international and local-level housing initiatives in most cases fail to be assessed prospectively or evaluated after implementation. This paper summarizes the result of a retrospective health impact assessment of a Roma housing project in Hungary in comparison with the outcome evaluation of the same project. Positive impacts on education, in- and outdoor conditions were noted, but negative impacts on social networks, housing expenses and maintenance, neighbourhood satisfaction and no sustained change in health status or employment were identified. Recommendations are made to improve efficiency and sustainability of housing development initiatives among disadvantaged populations.

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