In the past few months Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria conducted a representative sociological survey of the housing situation in two regions of the country – Sliven and Targovishte. The survey went through several stages: a field study in 800 households was carried out in 4 communities with predominantly Roma population, two focus group discussions on housing needs of vulnerable groups were held in each of the two cities and along with that were reviewed municipal housing related procedures and regulations of the Municipality of Targovishte and the Municipality of Sliven.
The aim of the study is to get a picture of the real housing situation in both regions, especially in the poor neighbourhoods, to consult the local population about their current living conditions and about their opinion what should be changed and at the same time to find out what are the strategic intentions of the local authorities towards improving the housing conditions in their region. Based on the survey conclusions, a debate will be initiated with public authorities and other stakeholders in order to stimulate them to work towards developing new, adequate housing policies, programs and regulations.
In early 2021 the results of the survey will be visualized and presented to the general public, several round tables will be held with representatives of the local municipal administration, non-governmental organizations and citizens. In September 2021 the discussion will be taken at national level when a National Housing Forum will be held in Sofia.
The project “Research Based Arguments for New Housing Policies in Favour of All” is implemented with a financial support of 93,000 Euro, secured by Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway within the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The main goal of the project is to contribute to the development of long-term, needs-driven municipal and national housing policies, which will secure safe and adequate housing for Roma.