Deputy Mayor of Belgrade Andreja Mladenovic and Manager of the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Graeme Tyndall signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Belgrade and UNOPS, outlining competences for the implementation of the second stage of the EU-funded ‘Let’s Build a Home Together’ Roma housing improvement project.
“We are determined to cooperate with our friends from the United Nations and the European Union, who have helped numerous Roma families to get housing and enter the socialisation programme,” Andreja Mladenovic, Deputy Mayor of Belgrade said and added “This is how we show we care for the most vulnerable.”
The EU has allocated EUR1.5 million for this stage of the project, to provide housing solutions to 50 Roma families living in mobile settlements in Belgrade.
“The European Union is highly dedicated to housing of the Roma, and finding a solution to the housing problem is also a part of the Serbian European integration path,” Nicolas Bizel, Head of Operations I at the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia, said.
The Memorandum of Understanding hammers out the framework for cooperation between Belgrade services – the Secretariat for Social Welfare and Land Development Public Agency – and UNOPS. Within this project, the City of Belgrade is responsible to provide the plot for the construction of the social housing building, all approvals and permits, infrastructure connections and lead beneficiaries’ selection process.
“A building for 23 families will be constructed within the project, whereas 27 families will be able to purchase and refurbish rural households,” Natasa Stanisavljevic, City Secretary for Social Welfare, noted.
UNOPS is in charge of construction and furbishing of social housing units, the purchase of village households and will conduct consultations with the beneficiary families and organise and implement their resettlement to new homes in line with the international human rights standards.
“This project is very important because – while developing and implementing methodologies for social housing of the most vulnerable social groups – it focused on human rights,” Graeme Tyndall, Manager of the United Nations Office for Project Services in Serbia, stated. “I believe the good practices we established during the first stage will provide successful cooperation in future activities,” Tyndall added.
During the first stage of the ‘Let’s Build a Home Together’ project, funded by the European Union with EUr3.6 million, three social housing buildings were constructed for 59 families, village households were purchased for 41 families, whereas ten families were supported in reconstructing their own homes. The second stage of the project kicked off in March 2017 and will be running for two years.