Coalition “Decent Home”
The project “Decent Home” – establishing a Coalition for improving housing conditions in Bulgaria – was funded by the NGO Support Program in Bulgaria under the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 and implemented in 2013/2014 with the support of the Pleven Community Fund “Chitalishta”, “Club NGOs” in Targovishte and “Amala-Priyateli “in Dupnitsa. The aim of the project was to strengthen the roles of civil society organizations in decision-making processes in the field of housing policy, and to increase their ability to carry out advocacy on housing issues.
In pursuit of this goal, Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria, together with 18 other organizations, established a Coalition for improvement of the housing conditions in Bulgaria, named “Decent Home”, in a founding forum, which took place on 23-24 January 2014. Over 40 participants took part in it, including representatives of non-governmental sectors, municipal structures, the Ministry of Investment Design, the National Association of Municipalities in Bulgaria, representatives of the construction business and professional organizations. The Coalition’s logo and rules were adopted and the first steps to be taken by the members of the new formation were discussed.
The Coalition for improvement of the housing conditions in Bulgaria “Decent Home” is an informal unification of equal organizations, driven by the common will, opinions and ideas to provide better housing conditions in Bulgaria.
The main targets of the Coalition’s work are:
• Provision of expert support in the development of strategic documents, improvement of the legal framework and decision-making on issues related to housing policy;
• Mobilizing and pooling the resources of civil society organizations, national and local authorities, businesses sector, academic structures and other stakeholders for the formation and implementation of the housing policy;
• Monitoring the process of the application of the housing policy and the implementation of the commitments made;
• Setting preconditions for enhancing the capacity of the civil society organizations involved in the process and exchanging information between them;
• Encouraging civic initiatives to improve housing conditions and involve local communities in addressing the housing needs of vulnerable groups.
By now the members of the Coalition include 36 organizations, representatives of the non-governmental sector, business sector, municipal structures and branch organizations, and it is open to the addition of new members. The National Association of Municipalities in the Republic of Bulgaria (NAMRB), the Municipal Energy Efficiency Network Eco Energy, the Union of Architects in Bulgaria (UAB) and the UN Refugee Agency also support its activities, and participate actively in meetings and events as observers. Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria was elected as the coordinator of the Coalition for the first 3 years, and was subsequently re-elected for another 3 years.
Since its establishment, the Coalition has been working on a number of issues related to the housing environment in Bulgaria. They have carried out meetings with experts and representatives of relevant institutions and they have filed official statements and proposals to the National Housing Strategy, the National Program for Renovation of Multifamily Buildings, the National Action Plan to the National Roma Integration Strategy, the Spatial Planning Act and its Regulations, OP “Regions in Growth” etc.
Habitat Bulgaria, 55 “Lyuben Karavelov” Str., fl.1, apt.1, Sofia 1124, Phone: 02/983 24 10