News 11 Nov 14

Montenegro Builds Homes for 50 Refugee Familes

After spending more than 15 years in a rundown refugee camp in the Montenegrin capital Podgorica, the 50 most vulnerable familes are to get new apartments.

Dusica Tomovic
BIRN
Podgorica
Officials launch construction work on the new homes.

The construction of five new buildings with a total of 50 apartments was launched on Tuesday in Podgorica.

Families living in the Konik refugee camp on the outskirts of the city, mostly Roma displaced from Kosovo by the late 1990s war, could move into the new homes in summer next year, the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare said.

The Montenegrin government, in partnership with the EU delegation to Podgorica, is financing the rehousing project, which will cost around 1.7 million euro.

“Each building will have at least one apartment adapted for people with disabilities, and all apartments will be equipped with solar panels, which will be used to heat water,” the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare said.

The owner of all the apartments, which are being built on the same street as the Konik camp, will be the Podgorica municipality.

According to government data from December 2012, around 16,000 wartime refugees from Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo live in Montenegro. Around 11,000 are from Kosovo. Over 3,000 are Roma living in the Konik refugee camp on the outskirts of Podgorica.

Improving the status of refugees in the country is one of the conditions for Montenegro’s EU accession.

In June, the government launched another programme for rehousing displaced people, which envisages the construction of at least 900 housing units over the next three years, with foreign donor support.

It is estimated that the programme will cost about 28 million euro. The government will cover about 15 per cent of the amount.

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