Social housing & soft measures to improve the living conditions of vulnerable groups
Rundown segregated aeras | Decision-making
Source: municipality http://www.dupnitsa.bg/
Source: municipality http://www.dupnitsa.bg/
Keywords: Disadvantaged Neighbourhoods | Housing | Roma | Segregated/ghetto areas | Social Innovation


The city of Dupnitsa (BG) recently constructed 15 buildings providing 150 modern social houses to at least 460 vulnerable, socially and economically disadvantaged citizens in a district where 90% of the population are Roma. To further improve their living conditions, the city established a new community centre for counselling, retraining, vocational guidance, housing, professional advice on situations leading to poverty and social exclusion. The aim is for the beneficiaries to find permanent jobs after the project so that they are able to maintain the dwellings in which they are housed, pay rent and provide a better quality of life to their families.

  • Construction of modern social houses - 160 homes with an average size of 66 square metres in single-family and multifamily residential buildings with up to three floors, located in a new regulated urban area adjacent to other residential areas and access to infrastructure and public services.
  • Estimates for municipal social housing use the following output parameters: average living area per person of 25 square metres; area provided housing of 12,000 square metres; the average number of persons per household, 2.7;
  • Intervention to avoid segregation, as representatives of the target groups coexist with other residents of the municipality, enjoy the same social, health and public services and jointly address common problems of the territory in which they live through participation in maintenance activities of areas for public use, joint neighbourhood councils and participation in joint initiatives. This partnership provides civilian control of the sustainability of the project and the protection of newly built social housing;
  • Neighbourhood with construction planned for an outside corporate housing project allows for rapid adaptation and motivation of the target group among the community of Dupnitsa. The realization of the social measures contributed to increasing the quality of life of the vulnerable groups and their families and made the integration process easier.



As part of the implementation of the project, the direct beneficiaries underwent training to enable them to seek and find a permanent job. As a result of determining the roles of representatives, conditions were created to provide practical knowledge and experience as well as employment.

This ensured the newly established service a community centre for counselling, retraining, vocational guidance and housing to improve the living conditions of the population. With this service, the representatives of marginalized groups are able to receive not only social and psychological counselling, but are able to use the services of mediators and lawyers in cases of job loss or other risks leading to poverty and social exclusion.


The project aims to give marginalized groups the opportunity to retrain, have internships and remain in permanent jobs so that they are able to maintain the dwellings in which they are housed, to pay rent and provide a better quality of life for their families. The creation of a social enterprise that caters newly homes, commit at least 10 percent of the families of the target group.


City information

Population size: Below 50 th
Population development dynamics within the city administrative limits (at the time of the project): Shrinking
Population development dynamics of the functional urban area (at the time of the project): No data/not applicable
Website of the city: http://www.dupnitsa.bg/

Project information

Project territorial scale: Neighbourhood
Project geographical area: Periphery of the city
Project/building proportions: No data/not applicable; Project Area: No data/not applicable
Project main actors: Local (district) Government; NGO, Philanthropy; 0
Project dominant property ownership: Public
Project development stage (at the time of description): Completely finished
Project duration: 2 to 5 years
Project starting date: 2011-2014

Project references (web pages, social media or press publications)


Contact Person

Boriana Sapundzhieva, Senior expert