Large scale housing projects are stimulative to economic growth. With this view, the Programme will also contribute to sustainable economic and social development as well as supporting the EU integration process, promoting reconciliation and fostering good neighbourly relations in the Western Balkans.

The following priority categories have been identified by the Partner Countries, together with the UNHCR:

I. All 1991-1995 refugees, regardless of their status, who are residents of collective centres or other forms of collective accommodations, either formal or informal.

II. All 1991-1995 vulnerable refugees accommodated privately and all former occupancy right holders without a durable solution in their country of origin or reception country. For the purpose of the Regional Housing Programme, the vulnerability criteria applied by UNHCR in countries in the region are also to be applied here.

III. All vulnerable returnees to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and all vulnerable returnees who have already returned to Croatia but who do not have a durable solution either in the country of origin or in the reception country.

IV. Displaced persons accommodated in collective centres and private accommodations in Croatia.

V. Vulnerable displaced persons outside collective centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

VI. Vulnerable persons displaced in Montenegro in 1999. This was especially agreed by the participating countries given that the Regional Housing Programme in other countries deals only with 1991‐1995 refugees.

FUNDING: The total estimated cost of the Regional Housing Programme’s implementation is € 584 million. Of this, Partner Countries have pledged € 83 million. The European Commission has already committed to providing approximately half of the remaining amount of € 500 million, primarily from the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA). Donors are invited to make contributions to complement the European Commission’s pledge.

Donor contributions will be channelled to Partner Countries through the Regional Housing Programme Fund. The Regional Housing Programme Fund is going to be established to ensure the collection of contributions of the Donor Community, to manage the allocated financial assistance and channel it towards Partner Countries.

The Steering Committee of the Fund, its supreme organ, will comprise Donors including the EC, Partner Countries and Partner Institutions (UNHCR, OSCE and CEB). Within this Committee, Donors will approve, on their own, grants as well as oversee, jointly with the Partner Countries and the Partner Institutions, the Fund's operations and the progress of the Programme.

The Fund will be managed by CEB, who will also supervise the provision of technical assistance to the Partner Countries. The technical assistance, financed by the European Commission, will support the Partner Countries throughout the Regional Housing Programme implementation. The General Conditions of the Fund will provide for its governance and operating procedures and will be applicable to each Donor's Contribution upon each Donor adherence (via an adherence agreement) to the Fund.

More detailed information on Regional Housing Programme including Partner Countries' Housing Projects