“I cannot begin to express how happy I am. I have been living in rented apartments for 40 years and this is the first apartment I am going to own in my entire life. I lived with my wife in an apartment without running water or functional toilet, and in this apartment we have everything,” says 67 year old Dedović Zahir, while holding the keys to his apartment together with his wife Ferida.
The Dedović family is one out of twenty who have moved today to a newly built multi-apartment building in Goražde, constructed within the Regional Housing Programme.
The European Union is the largest donor to the Regional Housing Programme, with its contribution of €234 million, thus contributing to permanent housing solutions to more than 30,000 families in BiH and in the region.
“A lot of work has been done thanks to the efforts and commitment of all parties within the Regional Housing Programme supported by the European Union. However, in order to integrate families into their communities, challenges such as access to education, social services and employment opportunities remain to be addressed. Our help does not stop here; the EU will continue to support reforms aimed at job creation and better living conditions for all citizens in BiH,” said Gianluca Vannini, Head of Operation Sections for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation of the EU Delegation to BiH.
Within the Regional Housing Programme some 3,200 housing units are planned for refugees and displaced persons in BiH. So far, 828 housing units have been delivered, and by the end of 2021 the plan is to deliver remaining 2,370 housing units to the most vulnerable families in BiH.
“I am sure that these 20 families who are taking over the keys of their new homes today, after a long and uncertain period of displacement, will succeed in achieving their goals. Happiness on their faces is the best motive and the incentive to continue working with devotion on the implementation of the Regional Housing Program,” said Minister of Human Rights and Refugees of BiH, Semiha Borovac.
The Regional Housing Programme is a joint initiative by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia to contribute towards resolving the protracted displacement situation of the most vulnerable refugees and displaced persons following the 1991-1995 conflicts on the territory of former Yugoslavia.