In the first part of 2015, members of Fundația Desire and of Frontul Comun pentru Dreptul la Locuire – Cluj got involved on individual bases into the program Local Engagement for Roma Inclusion (LERI). Developed by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights as “a project to investigate how the involvement of local communities in Roma integration activities can be improved” the LERI project left open the policy domains on and concrete plans through which to conduct this investigation in the 22 localities of 11 EU Member States. Consequently, this program facilitated a participatory action research (PAR) on a topic considered by the Romanian national experts (Enikő Vincze and Simona Ciotlăuș) as relevant and urgent in the city of Cluj-Napoca. Data collection was run through the means of the action of filling in and submitting social housing request files. The latter was conducted between March and July 2015 in cooperation with academic co-researchers Robert Matei and George Zamfir, and with some community co-researchers, inhabitants of the targeted areas. The efforts needed to fulfil the defined objectives during this period of time exceeded the resources provided by LERI. Through this action our research made the participatory assessment of the local manifestations of housing exclusion and of the need for housing inclusion, in particular of how local social housing policy, and other housing policy measures should respond to the needs of the impoverished citizens, predominantly ethnic Roma, living in the marginalized and segregated Pata Rât area (in particular on Cantonului street, and in the modular houses), and in another disadvantaged housing area from Cluj-Napoca (Stephenson street) endangered by the risk of eviction and demolition. Materials elaborated during the implementation of the LERI project (between March-June 2015), and as well as the materials elaborated later (in July and August 2015) but also based on its empirical results, were presented into the attention of public authorities, since they defined demands and recommendations reflecting on issues that belonged to the sphere of their accountability. These materials, written in Romanian, included the following:
catre_prefectura_fundatia_DESIRE_mart2015 – Stephenson
decl_caz_forta_majora_modulare – modular houses area
decl_caz_forta_majora_baraci – modular houses area
The opinions expressed in these materials are those of national experts and academic co-researchers from the Romanian PAR team, and do not represent FRA’s official position, or the opinion of the Consortium that runs LERI in 22 countries from Europe.