EU in BiH: New homes in Olovo for 16 vulnerable families

Sixteen families of former refugees and displaced persons moved to a newly built multi-apartment building in Olovo, constructed within the supported Regional Housing Programme. The majority of the recipients have been displaced for more than twenty years and are finally moving into permanent houses and beginning a new chapter in their lives.

My wife and I left our home almost three decades ago. Everything we owned burned down. Now, we finally have a suitable home. Faith brought us to Olovo and I am grateful we have been chosen for this programme. We can’t wait to move in, it looks very nice, like I have built it myself,” said Šefik Kulo.

The EU is the biggest donor to the Regional Housing Programme and so far has allocated about EUR 63 million to this Programme.

Head of Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina Richard Máša, stressed that the European Union will continue its assistance to the Regional Housing Programme to help individuals and families change their lives for the better.

“Thanks to the mutual efforts of our partners at all levels, we have managed to ensure durable housing solutions for the most vulnerable. I also have to highlight the strong regional importance and dimension of this programme, which does not only provide durable housing to the most vulnerable families, but also contributes to building peace and coexistence in the region,” said Máša.

Within the framework of the Regional Housing Programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 3,192 housing units for refugees and displaced persons are planned for construction; 2,260 family houses and 932 apartments in 51 newly-built multi-apartment social housing buildings.

Semiha Borovac, the BiH Minister for Human Rights and Refugees noted how every handover ceremony points to the joint success of the regional project, a success that is shared with the beneficiaries and is a confirmation of joint effort. “I am proud to say that additional funds have been ensured to guarantee the economic sustainability of the project, which we did not have before and which will aid us in helping the most vulnerable families,” said Minister Borovac.

So far, 8 multi-apartment buildings with 201 flats and 534 family houses have been constructed and renovated. By the end of 2018, one more building and 160 family houses are planned for construction. The Regional Housing Programme is a joint initiative by Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, aiming to contribute to the resolution of the protracted displacement situation of the most vulnerable refugees and displaced persons.