On February 24, 2012 in Kragujevac residential building for housing internally displaced people and vulnerable families has been opened, co-funded by the European Union and the Town of Kragujevac. On that occasion, the European Union allocated 15 flats for 12 internally displaced families and 3 socially vulnerable families (a total of 46 persons).
The building was built within the project “Improvement of Social and Economic Integration of Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons”, financed by the European Union through the IPA 2008 Fund with the total value of 4.2 million euro. The activities in Kragujevac worth around 500,000 euro were realised by citizens association Group 484, in cooperation with the Town of Kragujevac and the Commissariat for Refugees of Serbia, as the bearer of the project. The Town of Kragujevac co-financed the construction of the facility in order to expand the social housing fund in Kragujevac, which will support the most vulnerable population with housing problems.
Martin Kern, First Secretary and Head of Operations at the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia, together with Slavica Saveljić, Kragujevac Town Council member responsible for social policy and social care for children, Svetlana Velimirović, Deputy Commissioner of the Commissariat for Refugees of Serbia and Vladimir Petronijević, Executive Director of Group 484 handed over the keys to 12 internally displaced families who had been accommodated in the MDX collective centre in Kragujevac. Thus, another collective centre in Serbia has been closed. The flats were also awarded to 3 socially vulnerable families in Kragujevac. They are single mothers with children, beneficiaries of the Solidarnost Centre for Social Work in Kragujevac.
The building was designed according to the spatial and technical standards, more advanced than the current standards in the construction of social housing buildings in Serbia. The basic characteristics of the building are spatial adaptation for people with disabilities, energy efficiency and a space for joint activities of tenants.
Four flats in this building fully meet the needs for independent living of persons with disabilities. Everything in the building and the flats, including ramps, elevators, front door, special equipment in kitchens or bathrooms is tailored for the free movement of persons with disabilities.
The building has high energy efficiency standards in terms of thermal protection. It is connected to district heating and has a system of individual measurements of energy consumption for each flat separately. In this way, energy consumption for each flat is much lower than the average consumption. Consequently, heating costs will be reduced and will significantly lessen the burden to the budgets of households with low incomes, who are social housing beneficiaries in this building.
The facility has two large separate rooms for joint activities, not only for tenants of this building but of the entire block. Other social housing buildings in the Avala Block in Kraguejvac have about 120 flats but they lack common rooms that could be used for gathering the tenants. In the common areas within the building the tenants will have the opportunity to organise family events – celebrations, birthdays, religious holidays, weddings, meetings of tenant assemblies, etc.
The facility will be managed by PC Town Housing Agency, in charge of the construction and management of social housing flats in Kragujevac. The Solidarnost Centre for Social Work will be responsible for the tenants within their jurisdiction.