Researchers who have studied the living conditions of Roma (Gypsy) communities since the collapse of state socialism in Eastern Europe tend to emphasise two dimensions of the growing degree of social exclusion of the Roma: the economic dimension (the decline in socio-economic status) and the spatial dimension (the growing levels of residential segregation). This article aims to study how spatial exclusion and involuntary residential segregation ‘function’, that is, how they operate on the social micro level as a ‘generator’ of social and economic disadvantage. Certain types of objective obstacles arise in the living environment of excluded people and they continuously have to overcome these obstacles on an everyday basis. The author analyses how spatial exclusion acts on the excluded by requiring relatively high expenditures of money and time for them to overcome exclusion. He then examines the infrastructural dimensions of spatial exclusion, describing infrastructural exclusion as a dimension of disadvantage in which the excluded have limited access to infrastructures and through them resources otherwise commonly accessible in the dominant socio-economic system. Access to these infrastructures and resources can be regarded as an indicator of social integration and as an essential precondition for equal and meaningful social and economic participation in the life of the dominant socio-economic system. In conclusion, the author discusses the conflicting or almost contradictory relationship between the generation of spatial and infrastructural exclusion on the one hand and social integration projects on the other.