Tirana, March 5, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
Authorities in Albania have announced a tender for the purchase of apartments for homeless families. The allocated budget amounts to 700 thousand Euros or 100 million ALL. Experts say that with the market prices, no more than 15 to 20 homes can be purchased with this fund. Thus, the needs of the majority of homeless families cannot be met.
The directress of the National Entity of Accommodation, Doris Andoni, confirms that the fund which has been made available for the purchase of apartments for homeless families is 100 million ALL.
National Entity of Accommodation aims to purchase apartments from domestic construction companies which have unsold apartments.
“The entity wants to purchase apartments at their construction cost in the districts of Tirana and Durres, based on the 2004 law ‘For the accommodation of people in urban areas’”, says Andoni.
She adds that the offers being received until March 30, 2014 aim at “purchasing low cost apartments in the framework of the solution of urgent cases of accommodation in the districts of Tirana and Durres” and that the authority wants to be informed beforehand on the property market in these cities.
Authorities have never officially published the number of homeless families and homeless individuals in Albania. Municipalities and communes are obliged to ask residents to declare if they are homeless, in order to be assisted, but up until today, this assistance has not been adequate.
Municipality of Tirana says that there are 8 thousand declared homeless people, but experts say that this number is greater, as there are many others who haven’t declared their status at the municipality.
This is due to the fact that many people are skeptic as to whether they can be assisted by the state, judging by the “experience” of their “colleagues” who have applied years ago and have benefited nothing. Several others have not managed to fill the necessary paperwork to be classified as homeless.
Accommodation programs of the local and central government consist on offering low interest loans for homeless families and in some cases, even giving them apartments for free. /ibna/