In Shijak Municipality, not only have the promised buildings for homeless families not been built, but they have been reduced from 3 to only one building. This is officially confirmed to Faktoje by Shijak Municipality itself and by the National Housing Authority. Although the Mayor of Shijaku promised that 3 buildings will be built for 75 homeless families, the Housing Authority emphasizes that only one will be built, where 25 families will be housed.

Ilda Hoxha

“The good news is that in Shijak we will build 3 buildings for the homeless”, promised on January 29, 2021, the Mayor of Shijak, Elton Arbana , after the end of the Municipal Council meeting.

Mayor Arbana repeated this promise through a post on Facebook on February 13: “We will build 3 buildings for the homeless.”

Screenshot, Mr. Arbana’s post, February 13, 2021

Due to public interest, Faktoje decided to check this promise of Mr. Arbana by addressing first a request for information to the Municipality of Shijak. We asked this institution how many buildings will be built and if the work has already started.

Information request sent to Shijak Municipality, September 28, 2022

In its official response, this institution informs that the buildings have not been built yet, but that the site is vacant and ready and that the agency responsible for implementing the project is the National Housing Authority.

“The municipality of Shijak has a vacant site and the development permit for the construction of the 3 buildings has been cleared. We are waiting for the National Housing Authority to start the construction works for the 3 buildings, as that is the agency responsible for investing in and implementing this project.

These three buildings will be built in the so-called “Lagje Popullore” (People’s Neighbourhood” of Shijak Municipality, near the Police Station and Shijak Health Center. The construction site is approved by the City Council for the construction of buildings for the homeless.

Thus, those 3 buildings will accomodate 75 families. As for the construction budget, as far as we know, it is the Housing Authority which is the procurement unit for its implementation”, Shijak Municipality explains.

We also addressed a request for information to the National Housing Authority.

Request for information sent to the National Housing Authority, September 28, 2022

The National Housing Authority clarifies that this institution will build only one building for the homeless, where 25 families will be accommodated.

“The National Housing Authority, according to the Cooperation Agreement with Shijak Municipality, will build a 6-story apartment building, including 5 residential floors, a service unit floor and one underground parking floor, on “Lagja Popullore” neighborhood, located in property No. 20/4, Cadastral Zone No. 3369 in the city of Shijak for housing the homeless families of this city.

25 families will be accommodated in this facility. The approved fund for the construction of this apartment is ALL 99,200,000, including VAT.

The work on the construction of this apartment building has not started, because we are carrying out the procurement procedures for selecting the construction company that will implement this investment”, explains the National Housing Authority.

Faktoje went to Shijak on November 4 to see what was happening with the reconstruction project for collective housing. There was vacant land in the area between the Police Station and the Health Center, but there was no sign of any construction.

The vacant plot of land between the Police Station and Shijak Health Center, November 4, 2022

Local residents said they were not aware of any buildings intended to be built there. “We don’t know what will happen. We are also waiting to go into our houses, because we are still renting,” said a 45-year-old woman.

The vacant plot of land between the Police Station and Shijak Health Center, November 4, 2022

In a verification of Faktoje a year ago, on the website of the Public Procurement Agency, it was found that in September 2021 the tender procedure was opened for the building that will be built by the National Housing Authority.  However, more than a year after this procedure, construction work has not yet started.