Kosovo Roma often live segregated from other ethnic communities in neighborhoods (mahalas) that lack basic infrastructure such as roads, electricity, sewage disposal, clean water, garbage removal and access to public transport.
Roma housing settlements are often considered as ‘informal’ and not always reflected in municipal spatial development. Issues such as forced repatriations, lack of housing reconstruction assistance for either returnees and/or locals aggravate these problems.
As a consequence housing conditions of Roma families are often extremely bad. Lack of minimal hygienic conditions in terms of clean drinking water, toilets and sewage are a severe source for diseases as well. Especially children and women suffer under this situation.
With the project intervention, a model of effective and cost-efficient improvement of housing conditions shall be established, which can be replicated. Advocacy on municipal and governmental level shall lead to equal access to public infrastructure.
The intervention is based on the “dweller driven house-up-grading approach”. Main characteristics of this approach are:
- To organize and mobilize the settlement inhabitants to improve themselves their housing conditions
- To take common decisions on priorities and procedures, to rehabilitate the sanitation and housing units by the dwellers
- To advocate at municipality level for equal access to public infrastructure
- To push municipalities to improve basic infrastructure in the Roma settlement and to negotiate with municipalities for their contributions and match fund
- To promote the dweller driven approach, by showing its cost effectiveness and to seek for additional funding on governmental and international level
The project provides i) facilitation of the procedures, ii) technical support and monitoring and iii) budget for construction material (the dweller can decide how to use). The dwellers are themselves responsible for their house improvement, not the project.