Returnee families move into the first new apartment building constructed under the Regional Housing Programme in BiH

Apartment keys in the first new building constructed under the sub-project BiH3 Regional Housing Programme for Local Integration of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons in BiH were handed over to nine families, on Tuesday, 31 October 2017. The apartment building comprises of nine flats, ranging in size from 30/50 m2, and it is situated in the centre of Ustikolina, in the immediate vicinity of the municipality building, post office, school, outpatient clinic and other public buildings.

The sub-project BiH3 consists in the construction of 512 apartments in total, in 19 municipalities throughout the country, including in the Brčko District. Works are advancing well and construction is in progress on 8 locations, resulting in the completion of 105 apartments by the end of 2017. The rest should be finalised in 2018.

The happiness of the families moving in today is the biggest award for all the joint efforts we have put in this project. The cooperation between the Ministry, the local government and the RHP Donors has resulted in this great success,” said the Minister of Human Rights and Refugees of Bosnia and Herzegovina Semiha Borovac and added. “Until the end of this year, almost 300 new housing units will be built and/or reconstructed. Next year, about 1 000 further homes will be delivered. On this day too we are joined by our regional colleagues, and we all together celebrate each success as a joint achievement. This is a palpable way to strengthen good-neighbourly relations and contribute to reconciliation and stability in the region, which is a precondition for progress on European integrations”.

The Head of the Political and Economic Section of the European Union Delegation to BiH Jan Snaidauf underscored the European Union’s commitment to the Regional Housing Programme and added that the EU is here to help Bosnia and Herzegovina on its path towards the European Union and to secure a better future for its citizens, including the Programme’s beneficiaries. “The EU is here to help. The overall EU assistance to the Regional Housing Programme in BiH up to date amounts to EUR 49 million  which will provide durable housing to almost 2 500 households in 72 local communities. At the same time, it is of outmost importance that the recipient municipalities ensure adequate socio-economic conditions in order to facilitate sustainable return of the most vulnerable beneficiaries and their integration into the local communities,” said Snaidauf.

Within the Regional Housing Programme’s BiH3 Sub-Project, besides the Foča Municipality in FBiH, other apartment blocks will be constructed in Goražde and Bosanski Petrovac (20 apartments each), in Ilidža (18 apartments), in Jajce (7 apartments), Olovo (16 apartments), in Pale-Prača (6 apartments), in Tuzla and Zenica (54 and 62 apartments, respectively). This sub-project is also in implementation in the following municipalities/cities of the Entity of Republika Srpska: Prijedor (82 apartments), Banja Luka (45 apartments), Bijeljina and Derventa (30 apartments each), Gradiška (32 apartments), Bileća and Brod (15 apartments each), Vlasenica and Foča (20 and 12 apartments, respectively). In the Brčko District of BiH, two buildings with a total of 16 apartments will be constructed.

The value of the Regional Housing Programme is around BAM 1.2 billion, with over BAM 200 million channelled to the projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina. All this would be impossible without the support of the international community, including, before all, the European Union, as the major donor, with a contribution of EUR 230 million, and of the U.S., Italy, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Turkey and other donor countries, as well as the support of UNHCR, OSCE and the Council of Europe’s Development Bank.