The social development bank in Europe

Regional Housing Programme

The Regional Housing Programme provides housing to vulnerable persons who were displaced during the 1990s conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and have been living in dire conditions ever since. Today, the Programme targets 11 800 most vulnerable households in the four Partner Countries Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, or some 36 000 persons.

A girl from the RHP beneficiary family in SerbiaOverview

The Regional Housing Programme (RHP) is implemented by four Partner Countries:  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.

It is financed, for the most part, by the international community. At end-2019 contributions pledged in favour of the Programme amount to € 291 million. The European Union, represented by the European Commission, is the largest donor, with € 236 million pledged, followed by the United States with € 24 million.

The CEB helps Partner Countries implement the Programme, manages donor contributions and coordinates all stakeholders.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) are in charge of monitoring beneficiary selection and sustainability aspects of the RHP.

Progress to date

RHP first beneficiaries in Croatia

The implementation of the Programme is advancing steadily. At the end of December 2019, more than 6 200 families, or about 19 000 vulnerable persons, have received a decent home thanks to the RHP. By end-2022, the number of beneficiaries is expected to rise to 36 000. 

Moreover, the RHP has broader benefits. By addressing the plight of refugees and displaced persons, it fosters reconciliation between states and communities. By getting the Partner Countries to work together, it paves the way for broader cooperation.

The role of the CEB

The RHP is built upon an equal partnership with the four Partner Countries which are in charge of implementing the Programme.  As such, it relies on the Partner Countries’ national structures and systems, which benefit from a strong capacity building component.  

The role of the CEB is threefold: 

  • Provision of assistance to the Partner Countries in the preparation and implementation of their housing projects as well as in the monitoring of the use of grants disbursed from RHP Fund resources to the Partner Countries. Tailor-made Technical Assistance is financed by the European Commission and managed by the CEB.
  • Management of the RHP Fund, which entails managing and reporting on the contributions received from Donors. The RHP Fund holds the contributions of Donors amounting to at least EUR 250 000.
  • Facilitation of coordination and communication among all RHP stakeholders including Donors, Partner Countries and the partner organisations UNHCR and OSCE. This role includes providing administrative support to the RHP governance structures as well as ensuring that the RHP receives appropriate visibility.

The Regional Housing Programme at a glance (January 2020)