National Network for Children is actively working to improve policies relating to children and their families and through its member organizations provide social, health and educational services locally and among vulnerable groups.
National Network for Children expressed concern and made recommendations with a view to prevent homelessness of families with children after the demolition of their houses in Garmen village, Gotse Delchev Municipality.
Despite repeated demands of civil society organizations, including the National Network for Children, there is still missing national housing policy for disadvantaged families and working mechanism which adequately deal with such situations.
National Network for Children insists on development of a national policy which deals the housing problem of vulnerable families. NMD insists a legally regulated framework for resolving such problems and a resourced plan which reduces the number of children living on the streets or in illegal buildings.
If available homes can not be adequately repaired, the authorities should provide free housing for people from vulnerable groups. Usual help may include forms of subsidies such as vouchers for rent or support of purchase. Local authorities may also provide social housing for disadvantaged groups.
It is important in communicating the measures for improving housing policies to emphasize that, according to the results from international studies, the improvement of living conditions in poor urban areas and in ghetto neighborhoods in the villages reduces levels of crime and violence, creates a safe environment, better connections (infrastructural and community) between people and increases overall quality of life of all people in the community.
In this connection, Network for Children recommends increasing the number of available social housing with purpose to meet the housing needs of individuals and families in need.
In conclusion, National Network for Children believes it is critically important speaking for Roma to get out of the stereotype of stigmatization and rejection. National and local authorities should improve living conditions and housing for all vulnerable groups, not only the people of Roma origin.
National Network for Children reaffirms its willingness to partner in finding a long term solution to the issue and to defend the best interests of children.