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Browsing by Subject "häädöt"

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  • Vartiainen, Annastiina (2020)
    Evictions have been on the rise in Europe and around the globe during recent years. This study aims at giving voice to the people who are experiencing housing insecurity in the Portuguese capital city, Lisbon. Housing has become a key issue in local politics and this study sheds light on the topic in the context of the Portuguese welfare state. The first research question is to find out how the people, who are being evicted, or threatened to be evicted, see and describe their situation and how the situation has affected their lives. The second research object is to find out from where they have looked for assistance with their housing situations and how they perceive the help they have received. The literature review and the theoretical framework deal with the special features and development trajectories of the Portuguese welfare state. Despite the later democratic development, the legacies of Salazar´s authoritarian regime and of the colonial past are still visible in the form of considerable inequality within the society. The focus, though, is on the lived experiences of the participants. The approach of the study is qualitative and experience-centered narrative research. The data are made up of nine semi-structured interviews. All participants have experienced housing insecurity. Insecure housing, together with limited financial means, lead to a situation where the tenants are trapped in a dwelling which is insecure in terms of both legal rights and physical living conditions. Additionally, many tenants suffer from different types of harassment and intimidation by the landlords. Housing insecurity impacts various areas of people’s lives and the study reveals the downward spiral that the lives of the participants in the most insecure situations had taken. The insecure housing and economic deprivation increased the dependency on welfare provision and led to deepening poverty, with several unwanted practical, emotional and social consequences. Managing day-to-day life became physically and emotionally consuming for the participants and their personal relationships suffered. Many participants reported feelings of nervousness and depression, increasing health issues and a sense of being lost. Local authorities are involved in most cases and several participants had been in contact with the social services. The findings of the study support the existing literature about the short-comings of social protection and social welfare in Portugal. The housing issue in Portugal seems to be a structural problem arising from the societal inequalities, the pursued housing policies and the traditionally large role of the family in welfare and housing provision. Different grass-root organizations, such as Habita, seem to play a crucial role in supporting the individual, in raising awareness through publicity and in uniting people in a collective struggle for structural changes in society.