The social development bank for Europe

From a shed to a home: one family’s story

Regional Housing Programme provides durable housing solutions to vulnerable persons displaced during the war in the former Yugoslavia.

When the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended, Serif Guta and his family returned home in the mountains, only to find their house had collapsed from the weight of snow during one of the heavy winters. The family of 12 had no choice but to move into a one-room wooden shed without electricity and water.  

Twenty years later, Serif Guta’s old house was finally reconstructed under the Regional Housing Programme (RHP), a joint initiative of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia to provide durable housing solutions to vulnerable persons who were displaced during the war in the former Yugoslavia and still live in dire conditions.

 “I have finally seen the day when the house is finished and we can move in. If you hadn’t helped me the 12 of us would have still lived in the shed,” an emotional Guta said, standing with his family in front of their newly repaired home.  

The projects approved to-date will assist over 1 800 families - more than 6 000 refugees, internally displaced persons and returnees in Bosnia and Herzegovina - with durable and sustainable housing solutions. 

RHP is supported by the international community, including the European Union, represented by the European Commission, the United States (U.S.), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and managed by the CEB. To date, donors have pledged € 268 million in favour of the RHP, of which € 230 million by the European Commission and € 15 million by the U.S.