Roma Community in Tirana protesting about their fundamental right: Housing

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Reported by Lorin Kadiu

Translation by Alba Ahmetaj

The construction of a new road in Tirana will leave homeless 70 Roma families residing in that suburban area (Selita). For this reason these tens of residents, other civil society activists and citizens protested against the plan in front of the Prime Minister’s office.

They were holding banners were you could read: “we are poor, now you leave us homeless!”. Their protest was for a fundamental right as it is the housing. The concern of these families is the same to those of the neighborhood “Kushtrimi” in Vlora, another suburban area where the government had plans to build a new road. Most of the apartments have been for years in the process of legalization, but these families cannot receive compensation exactly for the same reason that their homes will be destroyed.

During ‘90-tes and later on, many people build their houses without a legal permission but the government started a “legalization process” in order to include these constructions in the official urban plan. Unless all the inhabitants receive a “legalization certificate” the government might destroy their property without being able to pay for compensation.
IMG_0560photo by Historia Ime

Bujar Muharremi, one of the protesters said that he is fighting since one year ago for his rights with all the state institutions but he has not received any response from them yet. Although he is under the process of legalizing his own house, the state continues to destroy the houses.

“We have built those houses 25 years ago with all our sacrifices and now they are destroying them. We are in the process of legalization, but the government blocked it. We have 6 children, where are we supposed to go? “- he said for “Historia Ime”.

According to the Law no. 9482 “On the legalization, urbanization and integration of illegal constructions” the legalization process is suspended because the facilities are in a territory subjected to urban planning. For these residents the government has offered as a solution to only pay 2 years the rent, after they will be considered homeless. But is this a real solution?

Xhekson Çela, an activist within the Roma community told to Historia Ime that: “Even though the construction for the new road as begun, still there is no solution for dignified housing for these residents. Simply there are proposals such as 2 years subvention rent which is unacceptable for the context in which they live, because they have no such social and economic profile that after two years to afford the rent or another form of housing. ”

Among their demands was alto “the establishment of a working group from the government in order to start a consultation process with all residents affected by the construction of the new road”.

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/Photos by Historia Ime

Full article in albanian: Prishja e banesave të 70 familjeve rome, familjarë dhe aktivistë në protestë përpara Kryeministrisë

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