Praxis Watch

Friday, 21 October 2016

Without a Solution for Internally Displaced Persons in Social Apartments in Kraljevo

The problems faced by beneficiaries of social apartments in the settlement “Beranovac” in Kraljevo, built to meet the housing needs of internally displaced persons by the donation of the organization HELP - Hilfe Zur Selbsthilfe e.V. – Mission in the Republic of Serbia, are still far from the solution.

Specifically, after the expiry of the deadline of three years within which the internally displaced persons, previously residents of the collective centres, lived in the social apartments in Kraljevo free of charge, the Municipal Housing Agency (MHA) prescribed that beneficiaries of social apartments shall provide minimum 75 EUR in dinar counter value per member of the household. In addition, the agreements offered to residents by MHA envisage the monthly obligation on behalf of the rent in the amount of 1.20 EUR per square meter. Having in mind that certain number of residents does not earn any income but they are beneficiaries of pensions, social welfare or temporary assistance for unemployed persons from Kosovo, the fulfillment of contractual obligations is unachievable for many of them. By rejecting to sign the unfavourable agreements, the residents of social apartments lost the legal ground of housing and were sued in 2013 by MSA. The lawsuits were filed against 33 internally displaced families, and court procedures are far from the completion. 

In the meantime, the sued residents addressed many state bodies with the plea to solve the current situation by considering the real circumstances and particularly social needs of internally displaced persons who live in disputable apartments. Neither the state nor the City of Kraljevo did find an interest to consider the problem in the wider context of protection of the rights of internally displaced persons, which is the reason why they did not go far from a lengthy civil litigation. 

In light of such circumstances, tenants of social apartments have been living for three years in uncertainty and in constant fear of eviction. In addition, they are forced to face daily with the countless obstacles in accessing rights caused by the fact that they cannot extend their stay at the addresses where actually reside.

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