Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria launches Home Equals campaign in support of people living in informal settlements around the world

News

Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria and our partners around the world today launched a five-year campaign, called Home Equals, seeking policy changes at the local, national and global levels to increase access to adequate housing for people living in informal settlements.

As part of the Home Equals campaign, Habitat Bulgaria is advocating for informal settlement upgrading and providing basic infrastructure and services at the community level. According to NSI data from “Census 2021” – 266 720, or 4.4% of the respondents, identified themselves as Roma, a large part of whom live in illegal housing.

“Residents of informal settlements are playing an incredibly important role as they find housing solutions for themselves,” said Mincho Benov, national director of Habitat Bulgaria. “The right policies can remove barriers, accelerate these efforts, and open the door to a better future for many more people who deserve an opportunity to live in a safe, secure home.”

At the global level, Habitat for Humanity is calling on G7 member states — set to meet this weekend in Hiroshima, Japan — to recognize equitable access to housing as a critical lever for development progress and commit to addressing housing needs in informal settlements as a way to advance international development priorities in areas such as economic growth, health and education.

The economic and human development gains from improving housing at a massive scale in informal settlements would be substantial, according to a report released today in support of the Home Equals campaign. The first-of-its-kind report from Habitat for Humanity and its research partner, the International Institute for Environment and Development, or IIED, modeled the benefits that would be realized – in terms of economic growth, income, health, and education — from those housing improvements.

The report found that GDP and income per capita would increase by as much as 10.5% in some countries and that roughly 730,000 lives could be saved each year globally — more than the number of deaths that would be prevented annually by eradicating malaria. As many as 41.6 million additional children would be enrolled in school, according to the modeling. That’s one out of every six out-of-school children in the world.

“This report adds to the evidence that ensuring people living in informal settlements have access to adequate housing isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s the smart thing to do,” said Jonathan Reckford, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “Through the Home Equals campaign, we and our partners are committed to taking action so that, when it comes to the places we call home, the more than 1 billion people living in informal settlements are truly treated as equals.”

Learn more: https://www.habitat.org/home-equals
Glossary of Terms: Home Equals


Video of the conference „Policies for improvement of the housing conditions of vulnerable groups on municipal and natiоnal level“

News

On April 14th, 2022 Habitat Bulgaria hosted the conference „Policies for improvement of the housing conditions of vulnerable groups on municipal and natiоnal level“.

The agenda covered housing related issues on local, national and global level. Habitat Bulgaria raised pressing issues like the fact that Bulgaria still hasn’t adopted a National Housing Strategy, and that there is no unified legislation for the regulation of the public provision of housing. The event took place both in-person at Grand Hotel Astoria, Sofia and online. A total of almost 120 participants joined, amongst them representatives of 4 state institutions, 20 municipal administrations, 24 non-governmental organizations, 3 universities and 8 media.

Opening words gave the deputy-minister at the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW), arch. Stefan Asparuhov, the secretary of the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnics and Integration Issues, Rositsa Ivanova, and Mincho Benov, director of Habitat Bulgaria. Some of the key participants were: arch. Dima Lekova – Acting Director of the Housing Policy Directorate of the MRDPW, Vessela Zvezdanova – Head of the “Strategies and Programs” Department of the MRDPW, eng. Plamen Petrov – expert at the MRDPW, Stefan Radev – Mayor of Sliven Municipality, as well as representatives of a number of municipalities and non-governmental organizations.

Based on the recommendations for improvement of the local housing policies, good practices from other countries with similar profile and strategic directions on European and global level, Habitat Bulgaria presented its recommendations for the national housing policy and regulations. The conference participants agreed upon the idea that, in the first place, it is necessary to adopt a long-term national housing strategy with a horizon up to 2050, with clear vision, priorities and measurable targets set in it, in order to ensure access to quality housing for all. With regard to the Social Services Law, it is important the Bulgarian Government to agree upon establishing of a new service of general economic interest i.e. social housing, for the provision of which the municipalities shall receive compensation from the state.

Watch the full video of the conference herе:

The project „Research Based Arguments for New Housing Policies in Benefit of All” is implemented with 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.

This publication has been produced with the financial support of the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area. The entire responsibility for the content of the document lies with the Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria Foundation and under no circumstances can it be assumed that this document reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria Operator.

 


Housing without a future?

News

Has the housing stock in Bulgaria been managed properly? Who should support it?

A national housing strategy for 2018-2030 was drafted in 2018, but it has not yet been adopted.

Learn more about Habitat Bulgaria’s recommendations for improving the local housing policies and practices in the video below.

Habitat Bulgaria is implementing the project „Research Based Arguments for New Housing Policies in Benefit of All” in the period from October, 2019 to April, 2022. The project has been funded within the first call for strategic projects of Active Citizen Fund Bulgaria with the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area.

 


Bulgarian textile insulation saves harmful emissions and money. „Inovativno“, BNT2

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The project for the development of an industrial facility for the production of thermal insulation of recycled textiles supported by the VELUX Foundations, has been promoted by the Bulgarian National Television.

For the invented thermal insulation product, the company was honored with the Grand Invention of 2015 by the Union of Inventors in Bulgaria during the sixth National Exhibition of Inventions, Transfer, Innovation ITI 2015.

Mincho Benov, National Director of Habitat Bulgaria, talks about why home textile insulation is greener and cheaper than traditional insulation.

 
 
 


IV National Housing Forum

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On January 27, the Fourth National Forum “Overcoming the housing and energy poverty – a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals” took place. For the first time the event was organized as a video forum, bringing together 90 participants from all over the country.

The online meeting was divided into three panels, which acquainted the participants with the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by the Bulgarian government in March 2020 and the commitments made by our country to achieve them.

The forum is implemented within the Build Solid Ground project, approved and funded by the Development Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) under the Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) strand.


Exhibition “Portraits of Hope”, Build Solid Ground

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Exhibition “Portraits of Hope”, Build Solid Ground

Habitat Bulgaria invited a group of artists to “translate” the challenges and opportunities of urbanization into the language of art:

– 75% of people around the world lack proper documentation for the land on which they live and are in constant fear of eviction.

– In many countries, women are not allowed to own land or real estate.

– By 2030, the population living in slums is expected to double to 2 billion.

Through the power of art, we wanted to show that every person deserves to have a decent home and to feel protected from threats to their property.


SIGN THE PETITION AND CHANGE THE COUNT! #home4all

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One–two–three–four 👉 what–about–your–home?

ACT NOW❗➔ 𝙎𝙞𝙜𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙚𝙩𝙞𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣 https://bit.ly/home4all_petition

In the midst of the current crisis, having a home means being safe.

In 2030, 1 out of 4 people will not have this luxury.

Let’s act now!


Everyone deserves a decent place to live.
#home4all ⌂⌂⌂⌂


Build Solid Ground

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Partnership with Wienerberger Group

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In 2012, Wienerberger, a leading provider of ceramic building materials worldwide and Habitat for Humanity International, a world leader in fighting the housing poverty, signed a partnership agreement to help families in Romania and Bulgaria. It is a multifunctional collaboration involving both financial support and expert and professional support in the form of voluntary time spent by Wienerberger’s employees. The purpose is to ensure the proper use of the products in the homes build by the organization.

In the period from 2013 to 2015, two teams of volunteers from Wienerberger Bulgaria Ltd. and one team of volunteers from the Wienerberger Group from a total of 11 countries participated in the social project of Habitat Bulgaria “Construction of Four Homes in the Town of Kostinbrod for Families with Minor Children and Proven Housing Needs”. Wienerberger and its subsidiaries Tondach and PipeLife, supported the project with the provision of Porotherm ceramic blocks, Tondach ceramic tiles and PipiLife plumbing needed to build the four houses. In addition, the Wienerberger Group provided financial and professional support, such as training in masonry construction activities. By using the energy-efficient building materials of Wienerberger, the beneficiary families of the project can save on utility costs each year.


International conference “Sustainable cities – new opportunities and challenges that the municipalities face”

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On 28 and 29 may 2018 Habitat Bulgaria hosted the international conference “Sustainable cities – new opportunities and challenges that the municipalities face”. Experts from more than 10 countries took part, presenting various practices and aspects for sustainable development of the cities to over 120 participants.

The main topics of the conference corresponded to those already adopted in September 2015, at the UN Sustainable Development “transforming the world”. They also corresponded to the policies adopted in October 2015 in Quito, Ecuador during the UN Third Global Conference on Housing Policies and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), New Urban Agenda.