The term ‘sanitation’ refers to the process of keeping places free from dirt, infection, disease, etc. by cleaning and removing waste. In line with this, the term ‘clean’ refers to the absence of pests, bugs, germs and other hazards. The applicable sanitary standards outlined in this section apply to the entire housing, including private areas as well as common areas located inside the housing or those outside (if applicable). Depending on the national context, the development and monitoring of these standards might be the responsibility of other relevant authorities (e.g. sanitation supervisory bodies).
In bigger facilities, ‘private areas’ refer to the bedroom only, whereas all remaining rooms would fall under the category of common areas. Nonetheless, sanitary standards differ between different types of common areas, such as the kitchen, sanitary areas and other rooms, including offices or activity rooms. In contrast, in smaller facilities the kitchen, bathroom and other rooms should be regarded as private areas too.
While the maintenance of adequate sanitary standards falls under the overall responsibility of the relevant authorities in the Member States, applicants may also be involved. In practice, the latter tend to be responsible for the cleaning of the private areas. In addition, depending on national legislation/regulations, other areas could be cleaned by the applicants on a voluntary basis. In some cases, this would also be remunerated as part of small jobs given out within the collective housing. In those cases, the cleaning process should be supervised by the responsible body, or by a special cleaning company.
A detailed description of responsibilities relating to the cleanliness of the housing should be written down in the house rules.
Standards and indicators
STANDARD 14: Ensure that private and common areas are kept clean.
Indicator 14.1: The housing facility observes a cleaning schedule.
- Additional remarks: For each area, it is specified how often and to what standard it must be cleaned.
Indicator 14.2: The cleanliness of private and common areas of the housing is checked on a regular basis.
- Additional remark: Checks take into consideration applicants’ needs for privacy.
Indicator 14.3: The cleanliness is checked when people move to another room or to a different housing facility.
Indicator 14.4: Where applicants are responsible for cleaning, they have access to necessary cleaning products and items as well as protection equipment such as gloves and masks.
Good practice with regards to ensuring the cleanliness of private and common areas
It is considered good practice in accommodation centres to introduce a cleaning schedule which is written down in a clearly visible manner and verifiable by applicants.
STANDARD 15: Ensure that the kitchen and sanitary areas are kept clean.
Indicator 15.1: The cleanliness of the areas is in line with local and national regulations and standards.
- Additional remarks: These regulations could for example refer to regular operations to deal with rodents and vermin.
Indicator 15.2: The areas are cleaned at least daily (in accommodation centres), or as often as necessary.
Indicator 15.3: In-depth cleaning of the areas takes place regularly.
- Additional remarks: In accommodation centres, such in-depth cleaning could take place at least four times a year. Standards for the cleanliness of kitchens used by the applicants or for professional cooking differ.
STANDARD 16: Ensure that the applicants are able to do their laundry or have it done on a regular basis.
Indicator 16.1: When the bed linen and towels are provided in kind and washed by the housing facility, they should be washed on a regular basis.
- Additional remarks: As a minimum, this should be once every 2 weeks for bed linen and once per week for towels.
Indicator 16.2(a): Applicants should be able to do the laundry at least once a week. OR
- Additional remarks: This indicator could be clarified in the national context by specifying the number of washing machines and an adequate possibility to dry the laundry per set number of persons.
Indicator 16.2(b): There is a service available so that the laundry can be done for the applicants.
- Additional remarks: The laundry service should be sufficiently accessible, for example during at least 5 days per week (including the weekend).