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Last update 13/10/2016
Ács is a municipality situated in the North-West part of Komárom-Esztergom County, Hungary. According to the latest official census, its total population is of 6875 persons with several minorities, the largest being the Roma, German and Slovak. During the official census only 73 persons declared to be Roma, although according to municipal sources the Roma population should be of at least 10%. Roma live in four areas in Ács, identified as Jegespuszta, Homokszőlő (Szőlők), Etelka telep and Vaspuszta. A part of the community also lives in non-segregated areas, in the center of the municipality. Living conditions and related issues tend to differ between these settlements:
Etelka telep is the area where living conditions are best: the area is close to the city centre, families are not segregated from the rest of the population and living standards are close to the majority population. Most Roma living in this area have either formal or non-formal occupations ensuring an income. Jegespuszta is a settlement situated at around 5 km from the city, however inhabitants have to travel around 15 km to reach the centre as the main road leading to it is in a very bad condition. It is estimated that around 100 Roma inhabitants live there (around 20 households). One of the main issues in this area is the legality of somes of the dwellings, since they were squattered after their owner - also a Roma citizen - moved closer to the city centre. Houses in the area are in a very bad state, the area is considered to be a slum. The municipality of Ács bought one of the houses and turned it into a community center, where 4 civil servants work on a permanent basis. There are no other services in the settlement (pharmacy, GP, general store). In Vaszpuszta there are only two dwellings, with similar living conditions as in Jegespuszta. There are no services besides a bus stop at around 10 min walking distance from the houses. Szőlők is a settlement close to vineyards and facilities around the wine industry, around 1 km from the city of Ács. Families settled in the area illegally so as to be closer to work opportunities, all the while not being able to afford renting of formal accommodation in the area.
The ROMACT process started in Ács in April 2016, with the signature of the Letter of Commitment by the Mayor. A contact person was designated and a taskforce was created shortly after, with the involvement of Roma representatives including the Roma Minorty Self-Government (MSG) and local NGOs active in the field of Roma inclusion.