CODE Housing – Community Development & Housing support for vulnerable groups

As of November 2022 Habitat Bulgaria restarts its housing microfinance and community support program in six selected locations – Targovishte, Kyustendil, Botevgrad, Burgas, Rakitovo and Sliven. The support will be allocated to vulnerable, low-income families, living in substandard housing conditions.

The programme comprises several components:
• provision of access to small short-term interest-free loans for home improvements;
• deliveries of financial literacy, home-maintenance and energy efficiency training workshops for the community members; free dissemination of an educational board game, for children;
• re-granting to the local partner – community-based non-for profit organizations to support additional initiatives, related to improvement of the living environment and housing.

In 2023 Habitat Bulgaria capitalized six local home improvement funds to establish microfinance housing and community support mechanism, managed by the local non-governmental organizations.

Currently each partner is managing local fund of approx. 10 500 EUR, which is being disbursed as small interest-free loans to families that meet the program criteria. The interest-free loans range from 250 to 600 EUR and are being re-paid in small monthly instalments for up to a one-year period. All monthly instalments, collected from the clients accumulate back to the local home improvement fund and can be disbursed to the next families in need.  The fund can revolve continuously.

For the first project year the six partner organizations have disbursed 168 loans for a total amount of BGN 156,500, which means that the home improvement fund of BGN 120,000 has revolved 1.3 times. Thanks to this support, the living conditions of 222 families and 213 children have been improved.

In addition, the beneficiary families have the opportunity to improve their knowledge and life skills by taking part in three tailor-made training workshops: Family Budgeting Training, Home Maintenance Training, Energy Efficiency Training. The workshops were developed by Habitat Bulgaria and are adapted to the needs and learning capacity of the groups we serve. They are interactive, practice oriented and participatory. Over the past year we have organized 9 workshops with a total of 165 participants. More about the workshops:

The local community will be furthermore supported via small grants to implement additional initiatives related to the living and housing conditions within the community to maximize the overall impact of the program. At the end of each project year 25 % of the housing microfinance fund will be re-granted to social and community services offered by each of the local organizations. The services, subsidized by the program will be focused on improving the living and housing conditions in the target communities with additional measures related to community infrastructure, housing energy efficiency, energy poverty, secure tenure etc. This sub granting opportunity maximizes the overall impact of the program as thanks to the joint efforts of Habitat Bulgaria and its partners, the families will receive a complex, holistic solution for a set of different problems.

This program is a continuation of a model for a multi-faceted community support that Habitat Bulgaria has been developing in several successive programs and initiatives since 2008.

Medicor Foundation is an independent and charitable foundation based in Liechtenstein. It was founded in 1995 thanks to a generous private initiative. Medicor Foundation is subject to the Liechtenstein Foundation Supervisory Authority (STIFA) and is a founding member of the Association of Charitable Foundations in Liechtenstein. In addition, Medicor Foundation is a member of the European Foundation Centre (EFC).