‘Hell’s Tower’ is a ten-storey tower block on the outskirts of the Hungarian city, Veszprém. For years, the building was left to ruin, it’s tenants – 195 in total, 60% from the Roma population – living in appalling conditions, unable to afford alternative accommodation.
It’s reputation was so bad that the postman would only visit in the presence of a police escort to avoid harm. The Hungarian Maltese Charity Service stepped in and not only refurbished key elements of the infrastructure but also purchased one floor of the tower-block to create “crisis homes” – operated by the charity and rented at affordable rates to those in need.
The efforts are more than a housing scheme however – the aim is to help residents reintegrate into society as a whole. As such, the project also involves social workers, who do health- and conflict-prevention work, provide child-care services and seek to provide a safe and healthy environment for the residents.
The Charity has recently constructed and opened a multi-service community room and office where the children’s playgroup is held, children can receive tutoring and laundry, kitchen and job search facilities are available. There are also plans to renovate a further 10 apartments.
Responsible Organisation: Hungarian Charity Service