A survey among municipal experts in the field of housing policies

June - July, 2021

The survey among the municipal experts in the field of housing policies, funded by the European Union's Rights, Equality and Citizenship Program 2014-2020), aims to identify the municipal practices used for addressing the problems of illegal Roma housing, as well as the level of awareness and implementation of specific procedures for resolving existing cases and various deficits that stay in the way of finding a lasting solution to the problems. The information that was collected and analyzed within the survey will be used for designing a training program for municipal experts within the "Scale it up" project. The project is implemented in cooperation with Trust for Social Achievement Foundation, the Community Investment Fund Foundation - Peshtera, Peshtera Municipality and Dupnitsa Municipality.

The survey focuses on the attitudes, assessments and self-assessments of experts from 30 selected municipalities, as well as on the objective information they provided with respect to the current status of problems related to illegal Roma housing.

A qualitative methodology for data collection and data processing has been applied. In-depth interviews were conducted with a total of 66 experts from 30 municipalities. The interviews were conducted in the period June-July 2021. The research toolkit addresses issues related to:

• the use of spatial planning procedures and practices, including with regard to segregated areas with illegal Roma houses;
• the readiness to implement and the effectiveness of various procedures for solving the problem of illegal housing;
• the delivery of information campaigns/activities on providing information;
• the familiarity with and application of specific procedures;
• the availability of specific initiatives for solving the problems at the local level;
• the need for changes in the legislation and potential solutions to the existing problems;
• the exchange of good practices with other municipalities.

For the purposes of the survey, interviews were conducted with the following categories of experts:

• deputy mayors of municipalities;
• chief architects;
• managers and experts of units dealing with spatial planning/cadaster and regulation/illegal construction, and other related activities;
• legal advisers.

Click HERE to read the entire report in PDF