Bulgaria Mulls Setting Up Social Housing Fund
Experts from Bulgaria's Investment Planning Ministry have proposed setting up a social housing fund.
The fund is to cater to the needs of families and persons with low incomes and specific needs, elderly living alone and disadvantaged citizens, according to the Ministry's press office, as cited by econ.bg.
A concept paper is being prepared on setting up public-private partnerships between municipalities, the state, and private investors. The government and municipalities are to participate in these schemes by granting terrains for the construction of these building and providing relaxed conditions for using social housing.
The construction of social housing is to be funded through a housing financial fund which is yet to be established and the maintenance and management of these buildings will be assigned to housing associations.
The proposals are to be enshrined in a new Housing Code, an unprecedented piece of legislation for Bulgaria.
The drafting of the Housing Code is to involve professionals from the public sector, municipal authorities, NGOs, and citizens who are to benefit from social housing.
Experts of the Investment Planning Ministry have already started researching the existing social housing fund and social assistance needs in the different municipalities.
The research activities also include Roma ghettos. According to the concept paper, their population is to be moved to better housing in nearby localities.
In the place of ghettos, production zones are to be established, thereby creating employment opportunities for minorities.
Bulgaria's Investment Planning Ministry is also considering creating a database integrated into a national portal which will provide information about social housing availability and needs.
The project is to create employment in the construction sector and create conditions for public-private partnership between the business sector and municipalities. The scheme is also expected to improve social assistance programs for vulnerable groups and to help fight the demographic catastrophe.
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In some other countries complexes have been set up for older people with assistance, including regular doctors visits, on hand. The elderly may have a small room (sometimes including a kitchen) with a bathroom to themselves but have access to communal areas to socialise with others. Regarding the Roma community, these mostly younger people need to feel responsible for the housing they use - maybe by paying rent or being expected to keep the area as well as their houses clean - otherwise they will just look like the ones visitors to Bulgaria pass through on their way from the airport