Housing and zoning is a program pioneered by the Trust for Social Achievement. TSA developed an innovative approach for the regulation of Roma neighborhoods in Bulgaria. Within this program, municipalities may develop and/or amend zoning plans to allow residents of informal settlements to buy the plots of land that their homes are built on and build their homes legally. TSA’s model aims to bring Roma settlements into conformity with Bulgaria’s standards for urban planning, an important legal precondition for incorporation into the city water, electricity and sewage systems. The model emphasizes the importance of preserving existing homes that are the sole residence of poor and marginalized families, taking into account existing legal standards and in compliance with international human rights norms for adequate housing.
Within the Housing and zoning program TSA successfully zoned Roma neighborhoods in Dupnitsa, Kyustendil and Peshtera. The joint partnership with local authorities is ongoing and it aims to support the process of obtaining land ownership and legal construction of house dwellings by local Roma communities.