On June 6, 2019, eight families consisting of returnees and displaced persons permanently solved their housing problems by moving into a new flat in Brcko that was built through the State Housing Project within the Regional Housing Programme (RHP) in BiH.
This is the first flat built under the aforementioned program in which all apartments are equipped with basic furniture and household appliances from the EU IPA funds. Besides that, 18 more houses and 1 more flat with 8 apartments is currently undergoing construction and will be soon ready for the return and local integration of refugees.
The keys were hander over today to the families Djonlic, Kalesic, Nurkic, Ganic, Rokvic, Mocevic, Murguz and Kurcela.
Sinisa Milic, the Mayor of the Brcko district of BiH, on this occasion thanked the State Ministry and all the donors for their assistance.
“This is a big event, because for the first time we have settled the issue of housing care for endangered families in accordance with the principle of social housing. It remains for us to continue the implementation of the project of closing the collective centers in Brcko. We had some problems, but also the understanding of the Council of Europe Development Bank and the Ministry in order to get the needed time for the project to cover all those concerned,” Mayor Milic has stated.
Semiha Borovac, the Minister for Human Rights and Refugees of BiH, expressed that she is very happy that the refugees received new apartments.
“We are very satisfied with the progress made in the implementation of this program. This building is specific because additional funds have been invested into it in order to create even better conditions for users who are in a really difficult social and economic state. These are multi-member families and one single mother with six children. Additional funds were provided through the Igman Initiative, and they enabled the apartments to be equipped with home appliances, which has never happened before. The goal of the state is to help all those who need it – in order for the internally displaced persons and refugees to finally solve their housing issue,” Borovic added.
Aleksandar Popov, the Director of the CARE project, pointed out that this project is an example of how the cooperation between the civil and public sectors can provide additional value, which is reflected in the completion of the apartments in this building by the appliances from the budget of the project. He emphasized that this is only the first building that is equipped as part of the CARE project, and another 15 apartments in Prijedor and 34 apartments in Tuzla will be equally equipped at the end of the year. He also thanked the European Commission for the project donation, as well as the EU Delegation, the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights and the Alpha Group on extraordinary cooperation in the realization of the project.
Fahrudin Kalesic, the user that received the keys to his new apartment, thanked everyone for helping his family get a roof over his head after 26 years.
Thanks to the Regional Housing Programme in BiH, by the end of 2021 a total of 3.202 housing units will be available for endangered refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees. Until now, a total of 873 housing units are finished. In order to finance housing projects and support the implementation of the program, RHP donors have so far allocated 287 million euros, of which 64.5 million euros are for projects in BiH. The European Union is the largest donor with a participation of 234 million euros, followed by the USA, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Turkey and several other countries. Strong support is also given by The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), whose representative, Mario Pavlovic, addressed the participants of today’s ceremony, and also OSCE and the Council of Europe Development Bank.
BiH has appointed the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees as the leading institution of this project and the implementation of the project has been entrusted to the Brcko District Department for Displaced Persons, Refugees and Housing Issues.