Romanian social housing stock (Alpopi, Iacoboaea, & Stănescu, 2014) accounts on average for around 2% of the total dwellings and it is owned by the public authorities. It is also important to note that Romania has the lowest stock of social housing in the European Union, estimated at 1.2 percent of the total stock, compared with a quarter in Austria, Great Britain, Spain or even a third, in Holland. According to Housing Observatory (Housing Europe, 2015) "the main role of social housing is to help troubled households gain access to market housing, access to housing in an appropriate social and urban mix. The common feature of social housing in all the States Members is the existence of rules for the allocation of housing to beneficiary households. Defining these rules for housing allocation are the responsibility of the Member States and public authorities of them. They are aimed at solving the problems of the housing
system regarding demand, through the free functioning of the market, problems resulting from a structural decent and affordable housing deficit.”
The concept of social housing, such as it is defined in the ”Housing Law” (Romanian Parliament, 1996), represents the “public dwellings
allocated with subsidized lease, to individuals or families whose financial situation would not otherwise allow them access to a home or rent a home under market conditions”. The Housing Law is supplemented by Emergency Ordinance 40/1999, which concerns and regulates the
protection of tenants. The housing mechanisms and the tenants' access to social houses is therefore defined and established within the national legislative framework. The responsibility to set up criteria for
allocating these dwellings to the tenants, on the other hand, falls on the public local authorities who are also the owners of this stock.
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