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New homes for Roma families from Zverinjak

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Mustafa Server Caylan, the UNHCR Representative in Montenegro handing over the keys
of the apartment to a Roma family. Photo: UNHCR Montenegro
 
Nikšić, 23 January 2015 - On a ceremony on the occasion of handover of apartments, organized by municipality of Niksic and UNHCR, ten Roma families who lived in Zverinjak settlement in Niksic got durable housing in another location.
 
Habro Adrović, who will move into the new apparent with his son and wife, thanked on behalf of ten families. “It is hard to express what we feel today, after the most important issue in our lives has been resolved. We cannot be more grateful to all the organisations who helped making this happen,” he said.
 
As a result of joint efforts, nearly 310,000 € were secured for the construction of four pre-fab buildings with 10 apartments. Niksic municipality contributed 130,000€, the German Government donated 94.000€, UNHCR 80.000€, while the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare provided 5.000€. 
 
„This is closure of one of the most urgent social problems in our municipality, and it is a confirmation of a human and responsilbe treatment of the most vulnarable segments of society,“ said  Živko Kecojević, the Manager of Nikšić municiplaluity.
 
Mustafa Server Caylan, the UNHCR Representative in Montenegro, underlined importance of having this joint endeavour. „The roof over the head is a precondition for a life with dignity for all the people, especialy for the people who are displaced,“ he said. 
 
The Zverinjak settlement consisted of illegally built huts and houses made by local and displaced Roma. Nine years ago, the land was restituted to the original owner, who was doing his best to come to an agreement with the municipality on alternative accommodation for the families occupying his land, instead of insisting on their eviction.