“Don’t sell your family home even if all you’ve got to eat is bread, salt and onions.” This is what Vasil Ognyanov (68) from the Kavakliya neighbourhood in Dupnitsa says. His whole life, he has been a welder in one of the biggest factories in Dupnitsa”. All his savings vanished in the mid-90’s and the only valuable thing that he had left was the house he inherited.
The house was built by his father when he moved to Dupnitsa in 1956. Vasil has never lived anywhere else.
“When we moved to Kavakliya in 1956, there was no water, electricity or sewage. It’s the same now. All of the other neighbourhoods have improved, and only Kavakliya remains the same. We bought our lot here with fake papers. We wanted to live here because it was close to the tobacco factory, and for people with our background that was the only option for work. With a lot of hard work and multiple deprivations, my parents managed to build a small house. We would host different people who arrived from the villages with the hope of building a better life and finding work in the town. This is how the neighborhood was growing right in front of my eyes”, says Vasil.
Years later, he invested all his savings in the house, so that it could be a real home. The one thing that has continued to bother him his whole life, however, was that he had no documents for the house.
Now, people in the neighborhood are little by little starting to hope again, and they want to live in accordance with the law.
Thanks to the investments made by the TSA and the new detailed urban development project for the neighborhood, new zoned plots are being parceled out under every building. These will help the people living there to gain ownership of their lots. In addition, some properties were set aside in which a variety of social services can be developed for sustainable improvement of the living environment in the community.
If there’s no urban planning, there’s no access to the basic necessities of life. Urban planning also addresses roadblocks to municipal spending in the community as well as provides incentive for external fundraising. As a result a productive partnership established between the municipal administration and TSA, an opportunity was identified to apply for external funds to help cover the cost of social spaces in the community.