Roma Families Forgotten by Tirana Municipality

Since two months, fifty Roma families, removed from their houses at Bregu i Lumit in northern Tirana, are living in derelict army barracks near the Mali me Gropa, in the outskirts of Tirana.

Reporter has published a video which shows the difficult conditions in which many children and elderly people are currently forced to survive the low temperatures.

The inhabitations of the barracks say that they are still waiting for the Municipality of Tirana to keep its promise to give them social housing or to help them with soft credit. Their houses were destroyed allegedly to protect them from flooding, but in reality the Bregu i Lumit zone will be developed into a “World Park” in the context of the Tirana 2030 Masterplan.

In November, Mayor Erion Veliaj declared that the Municipality would give the families without permanent housing a rent bonus. But it appears that the only place where these families can be housed are these former army barracks.

Moreover, the heads of the families declared that they have remained without any income after the municipality prohibited the work with which they earned their living: collecting plastic bottles and cans in public trash bins or the sale of second-hand clothing. One of them said that he cannot go out to collect recyclable materials, because he got a fine of 5,200 lekë.

Forced to leave their homes, these families now have to wait for the Municipality of Tirana to give them a modest habitation – where there are at least windows and doors.