New Homes Planned for Ukraine’s Displaced

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Displaced woman living in a dormitory © IOM/Ben Robinson

Kyiv - On Tuesday (15/09), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is announcing details of a new project to provide modern and affordable housing to over 1,500 people in Ukraine's conflict-affected east. These apartments and houses will be located in the towns of Kramatorsk (Donetsk Region) and Sievierodonetsk (Luhansk Region). They will shelter 500 families.

Over the six years of protracted displacement in the country, caused by the conflict which erupted in 2014, IOM has recorded thousands of cases of displaced individuals and families for whom safe housing remains a pressing need. The latest IOM survey, conducted between April and June this year, revealed that only 11 per cent of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine own their homes.

The EUR 22.1 million, five-year project, funded by the Government of Germany through KfW Development Bank, envisages both new construction and renovation of existing housing units, work to be implemented by IOM in cooperation with the Government of Ukraine and municipal authorities.

The housing units will require affordable rent payments from the beneficiaries, who will also pay their own utility bills. High standards for construction---including energy efficiency and environment protection---will be featured.

Eighty per cent of the new residents will be IDPs and 20 per cent will be from the original population of Kramatorsk and Sievierodonetsk. The towns were selected for the project due to high influx of IDPs --50,000 and 40,000 respectively -- representing about one third of the pre-conflict population of each city.

"When we fled our home, a priest gave us a village house for free. But another 16 people already lived there. It was basically a hut with just one table, one oven and one bathtub. I was already pregnant with my second child, and we lived in the hallway, where there no place to put the second crib. So, we moved to a flat, the cheapest one we could find, which the wind blew right through," explained one displaced woman from Luhansk Region, eastern Ukraine, who shared her story in an anonymous IOM survey.

"If we want to work towards a dignified and prosperous future for conflict-affected communities, we must complement our relief and recovery support with interventions that stem from our deep understanding of the long-term impact of protracted displacement," said Anh Nguyen, Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine.

"Not only will these new apartment buildings provide homes for the needy, the initiative also represents a significant boost to urban development of Kramatorsk and Sievierodonetsk and a positive socio-economic signal for the entire region," he added.

As many as 60 per cent of displaced people live in rented accommodation, and 17 per cent stay with relatives or host families.

IOM has been working in Ukraine since 1996 and has scaled up its response since 2014. It has assisted over 514,000 vulnerable IDPs and people in need in 24 regions of Ukraine, providing them with humanitarian aid, livelihood grants, and opportunities for community development and social cohesion.

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: + 38 044 568 50 15, +38 067 447 97 92, Email: