The largest global advocacy campaign to improve access to land for shelter has reached another ten municipalities in Bulgaria


Within the three-year campaign (2018 – 2020), Habitat Bulgaria continues its successful series of meetings and volunteer actions with municipalities and universities, focusing on the challenges and opportunities of urbanization, as well as improving of the urban environment.

During the workshops, the options for renovation of the poor neighbourhoods were discussed – namely, improving living conditions and providing access to basic sanitation. Currently, one in every seven people on the planet lives in unduly built and overcrowded urban areas, with insufficient infrastructure, often without access to electricity and water.

There was also discussion about the need to improve land rights. Globally, 75% of people do not have adequate documentation of the land on which they live, and millions live in constant fear of eviction. At the same time, they do not want to leave their homes, where they have sometimes lived their entire lives. Habitat for Humanity experts are adamant that with secured property or right to use, people will live without fear of eviction and invest more in their families, communities and the future.

In 2018 and 2019, in the campaign took part the municipalities of Smyadovo, Targovishte, Antonovo, Gabrovo, Kyustendil, Dupnitsa, Nessebar, Burgas, Sungurlare, Sofia – Nadezhda district, Simitli, Pavlikeni, Lyaskovets, Gorna Oryahovitsa, Botevgrad, Samokov , Mezdra, Stara Zagora, Lom and Pravets, as well as the universities – University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy (UACEG), New Bulgarian University (NBU), Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” (Sofia University) and the University of Forestry (LTU). Over 2000 participants, including representatives of the municipal administration, youth and non-governmental organizations, citizens and the media, actively participated in the initiatives.

Through the activities conducted, Habitat Bulgaria aims to show that the path to sustainable cities and a decent life for everyone goes not only through state and municipal policies, but also through our personal responsibility and our actions as citizens and neighbours.

For context
Countries around the world are increasingly driven by the desire to revive the global commitment to sustainable urbanization:
UN Sustainable Development Goals adopted in New York in September 2015 include SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities.
The New Urban Agenda was adopted in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, at the United Nations Third Global Conference on Housing Policies and Sustainable Urban Development Habitat III.
The Urban Agenda for the EU was adopted during the Dutch EU Presidency on 30 May 2016 with the Amsterdam Pact.

About Solid Ground:
Habitat for Humanity launched Solid Ground, a global advocacy campaign to improve access to land for shelter. The four-year campaign, which committed to influencing land policies and systems, resulted in more than 3 million people with increased access to safe and secure land in over 40 countries around the world.