The Law of Ukraine “On Safeguarding the Rights and Freedoms of Internally Displaced Persons” entered into effect on November 22, 2014, and Ukrainian citizens now have the right to protection against forced internal displacement or forced return to their abandoned homes and are now in critical need of new homes.

Natalia Dotsenko-Belous, Counsellor at Vasil Kisil & Partners, jointly with Viktor Kulik  (Association of Reliable Developers), Olha Sanzharevska (Chairperson of the Board of the Charitable Foundation “Ukraine Without War” / Chairperson of the Public Private Partnership Council of the Association of Reliable Developers) and Tetiana Korotka (Director of Professional Services / USAID Public Private Partnership Development Program), has developed an innovative project entitled “Social and Affordable Housing Construction Program for Forcedly Displaced Persons in Kharkiv Region”.

The program is aimed at facilitating the implementation of social and affordable housing construction projects to accommodate half a million people who have become “ATO[1] victims” or, in the terminology of the currently valid Law, “internally displaced persons (IDPs)”. As of December 19, 2014, the UNCHR reports 570,162 IDPs (19,889 people from the Crimean peninsula and 550,273 people from eastern Ukrainian regions).

The program comprises a pilot project of comprehensive residential construction development to be implemented by the Kharkiv Regional Administration with the participation of a private investor within the framework of a public private partnership under Article 33 of the Law of Ukraine “On Town-Planning Regulation”, Article 5 of the Law of Ukraine “On Public Private Partnership”, and the Law of Ukraine “On Social Housing Stock”.

The Law provides, in particular, that local state administrations acting within the scope of their authority will provide internally displaced persons with residential premises or habitable social housing facilities for temporary use, provided that such persons pay the utility costs in accordance with the law.

Meanwhile, the Law also says that, for the purposes of construction and investment into development of the residential infrastructure in cities and settlements and provided that opportunities are available to raise international humanitarian or charitable aid, the respective executive authorities and municipal authorities, jointly with state banking institutions, will create regional long-term preferential lending (including mortgage lending) programs for housing construction or purchase purposes.

More detailed information about the Program can be found at http://www.financial-strategies.com.ua/.