Despite the consequences of the occupation, Trostianets municipality is working on creating a public centre to help IDPs
Trostianets urban municipality was under occupation for more than a month and suffered significant damage to both public and municipal institutions and private residential buildings. But despite all the consequences of the occupation, Trostianets currently hosts more than 1,200 internally displaced persons and is looking for resources for their accommodation and integration.
According to Olena Volkova, Deputy Mayor of Trostianets, the majority of people came to the municipality from the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions as well as other municipalities of the Sumy region. Some people also came from the Luhansk, Kyiv, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions. Some rent housing, some live with relatives, and some live in a social hostel.
“The biggest challenge at the moment is the housing for IDPs. We settle them in empty houses if there are any. But we did not have a single public centre for IDPs. In late August, following the decision of the executive committee, we identified 9 properties that will be adapted for housing for displaced persons. A social hostel has been identified as one of these facilities. We plan to turn it into a public centre for IDPs,” Ms Volkova said.
According to her, the list of the properties that can be turned into housing for IDPs also includes the factory culture centre, municipal buildings and some of the premises in the starosta districts. Some of the buildings are to be fully equipped for housing, while others will be used partially.
“At the moment, we are looking for resources for the repair and furnishing of these facilities. We cooperate with international partners in various directions, such as the UN Foundation and charitable organizations. We plan to create a modular town for IDPs in the future,” said the Deputy Mayor.
In addition to attracting grant and charitable funds, the municipality is going to use the remaining funds from the targeted subvention for the construction of a sports facility (swimming pool), which can be used to help IDPs or Territorial defence forces under martial law in accordance with paragraph 222 of Chapter VI (Final and Transitional Provisions) of the Budget Code of Ukraine.
“We have submitted a request to the Ministry of Youth and Sports and are waiting for permission to use the remaining subvention funds for arranging the housing for internally displaced persons. We are also waiting for the green light from the Ministry of Social Policy since the repair of the building that will be used as a domestic and gender-based violence shelter is at its final stage. The shelter was created at the expense of a targeted subvention, and now we are awaiting for permission to use part of the building for IDPs, while leaving the other to operate as a shelter,” said Olena Volkova.
The Deputy Mayor of the municipality also believes that in addition to housing, IDPs should receive assistance in adapting to life in new conditions. To this end, the municipality, together with U-LEAD experts, launched the IDP integration programme.
“According to statistics, 30% of IDPs permanently stay in the places they moved to. This is important for us because a municipality can only grow where there are people. We are interested in keeping them here, which is why we are committed not only to arranging the housing, but also to the integration of these people. That is why we decided to work with U-LEAD on this programme: to get tools from experts to solve the problems of IDPs, to understand what needs to be done and how to help people feel cared for, to help them find their place in our municipality.”
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