Kosice: Self-help Housing Project Available to Roma at Lunik IX

(stock photo from Lunik IX provided by TASR)

Kosice, July 31 (TASR) – Slovakia’s largest and often troubled Roma borough of Kosice Lunik IX is soon to see major construction changes, as selected Roma families from this neighbourhood will be constructing their own new houses with the help of non-profit organisation ETP Slovakia-Centre for Sustainable Development, TASR learnt on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday (July 30), ETP Slovensko director Slavka Macakova said that since 2016 between 16-18 families have joined the Let’s Build Hope at Lunik IX project, which involves the self-help construction of bungalow houses out of the families’ own money. “There are now five very enthusiastic families, while three families have already met all the conditions of our programme,” said Macakova, adding that in order to meet the criteria, the family has to regularly save at least €50 per month for a long period of time as well as take part in special workshops focusing on saving education for one year.

The ETP Slovensko director added that the construction of the first houses should start in January 2019, after all the construction permits and land ownership documents are settled.

Along with the family houses, a new centre meant for a variety of purposes will be built in the Lunik IX neighbourhood. “The model training house will be constructed by our clients in cooperation with our building teacher. Families will learn the construction techniques that they will later use for the construction of their own houses,” added Mackova, noting that the centre will later serve for organising various kinds of events at Lunik IX.

The non-profit organisation is cooperating in this project with the city of Kosice.