Roma, Adequate Housing, and the Home Construction and Impact of a Narrative in EU Policy Documents



Published Dec 28, 2018
Silvia Cittadini


This article presents a critical discourse analysis of the European Union’s documents released between 2008 and 2016 on the Right to Housing and on the inclusion of the Romani minority. The objective is to analyze the definition of adequate housing and its impact on the representation of the Roma and on the consequent housing strategies. The article highlights how a restrictive interpretation of the term “adequate housing”, understood exclusively as a series of physical parameters, associates the Roma with “inadequate” and “substandard” accommodation. This interpretation supports the persistent representation of the Roma as a vulnerable homogeneous group, “Other” from “mainstream society”, informing paternalistic policies that prevent the meaningful participation of Romani individuals in decisionmaking. Furthermore, it fails to acknowledge the immaterial factors affecting the subjective understanding of the house and its relation with the identity of the individual, hindering the empowering potential of home-making practices. Following this analysis, the article claims the necessity of recognizing the impact of affective and immaterial factors such as the creation of a socially supportive environment and the possibility of personalizing the domestic space, in the development of housing policies aimed at supporting the identity and well-being of the individual.

How to Cite

Cittadini, S. (2018). Roma, Adequate Housing, and the Home. Critical Romani Studies, 1(2), 40-56.



Roma integration, Housing, Home, Identity, European Union, Discourse analysis