40 apartments handed over in Knin, Croatia

Two apartment buildings completed for 40 RHP beneficiary families

Knin, 4 October 2017 – The Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care (CSORH) organised an event today to celebrate the completion of apartments for 40 RHP beneficiary families, who have until today lived in the other countries of the region, in collective accommodation, or otherwise in substandard living conditions.

The total cost of construction of the two apartment buildings, each with 20 apartments, is EUR 3.5 million, 75% of which (EUR 2.6 million) is financed from the RHP Fund resources and 25% as a national contribution.

After the handing over of the apartment building in Korenica in 2015, this is the second RHP project completed in Croatia, which has altogether accessed EUR 14 million in RHP Fund resources, to the benefit of close to 350 most vulnerable families. The plan is to complete two other RHP projects still in 2017, a retirement home in Glina and a residential building for 21 families in Benkovac.

State Secretary Nikola Mazar from the CSORH highlighted the importance of the RHP for Croatia. He reminded however that a significant number of vulnerable people still remain with unsolved housing needs. To address this, only in Knin, CSORH will provide housing altogether for 190 beneficiary families, from both national and regional funds.

State Secretary Nikola Mazar, together with Head of PIU Ivica Preskar

The European Union representative Liselotte Isaksson, Head of Sector, DG NEAR, underlined that the European Union is not only the main donor to the Regional Housing Programme but it also strongly supports this initiative which represents some of its key values: solidarity, regional reconciliation and good neighbourly relations. It is a great proof that difficult and long-lasting challenges can be overcome thanks to close cooperation and building of trust.

Sam Healy, Regional Refugee Coordinator from the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, reminded the stakeholders that housing solutions alone do not solve the problems of this vulnerable group of people – complementary measures must be offered such as legal assistance, social services, etc. A house is not a home without these additional measures.

Stephan Sellen, Deputy Director General from the CEB, stated that since the CEB was set up more than 60 years ago – with the objective to help refugees and displaced persons -, aid to refugees and migrants has always been at the heart of its mandate. “We are all Europeans, and, at a time when tensions are again on the increase, the RHP is a concrete expression of the European values that encompass solidarity, tolerance and mutual support.“

Praising the successful efforts of the Republic of Croatia and the other RHP Partner Countries to increase the dynamics and the efficiency of RHP implementation, the UNHCR Regional Representative for South Eastern Europe Anne-Christine Eriksson said: “UNHCR, together with its partner OSCE, will continue to fulfil its role to support the RHP Partner Countries in establishing quality process that would secure that RHP help continues to reach the neediest among the displaced people, and to secure that the solutions provided to RHP beneficiaries are truly sustainable, comprehensive, and based on genuine needs, beyond merely providing housing solutions.”

  • 4 Oct, 2017
  • Aleksandra

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