Habitat Bulgaria holds first national Housing Forum

At the end of October 2013, Habitat Bulgaria hosted its first national Housing Forum, a one-day event in Sofia attended by housing professionals, local government representatives and journalists.

Discussion topics ranged from the current legal housing framework in Bulgaria and its shortcomings to the need for effective partnerships between local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations to help create decent and safe housing. Government representatives presented existing development programs and planned activities for growth through 2020.

Habitat’s work in the town of Kostinbrod was presented as a successful example of cooperation between businesses, local authorities and nonprofits. The project was realized with materials donated by Habitat’s partners — Wienerberger AG, PipeLife and Tondach — as well as support from municipal authorities.

Following the forum, a ceremony was held in Kostinbrod, where the first two of four families received the keys to their new homes. The houses, each 94 square meters, are designed for young families with children who have experienced acute housing need. Habitat Bulgaria seeks to replicate this model in other municipalities around the country.