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Senate to work on HFHR petition

The Human Rights, Rule of Law and Petitions Committee of the Senate has examined a petition submitted by the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. The Committee has decided to continue working on the proposals presented in the petition, which addresses the practice of using temporary accommodation.

In March 2015, the Foundation sent the petition to the Senate in which it argued that the practice of applying temporary accommodation, as defined in article 2(1)(5) of the Tenant Protection Act, read in conjunction with article 1046 of the Code of Civil Procedure, could be unconstitutional.

Problems associated with the operation of the measure have been repeatedly signalled by the Human Rights Defender. In its petition HFHR pointed to the fact that there were many situations in which persons with disabilities, mental conditions or pregnant women were evicted to shelters because they were unable to obtain a court order confirming their right to community housing, which was available only to tenants within the meaning of the Tenant Protection Act. Similar problems are faced by evicted occupants of premises that are privately owned.

According to the Foundation, the currently applicable laws appear to offer protection from eviction into the street. However, in practice they increase the number of homeless people in Poland.

The Human Rights, Rule of Law and Petitions Committee of the Senate of the Republic of Poland decided to carry out further works, including legislative works, on the Foundation’s petition. The works are to address a number of issues such as the protection of families with children against eviction, the standard of temporary accommodation and the maximum allowable period of staying at temporary accommodation.

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