HERO: Housing and Empowerment for Roma

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80% of Roma children and families are at risk of poverty, compared to 20% in the general population. Equal economic opportunities enable Roma to break the cycle of poverty for their children and contribute to the social and economic development of the community as a whole.

→ Investing in housing for Roma benefits the whole community.

The large majority of Roma is not made of “travellers” or nomads. In fact, 80% are settled and looking for ways to improve their lives. Providing access to financial assets, be it loans or basic education, will support Roma in becoming homeowners.

→ Social innovation models can help break the cycle of exclusion.

Roma communities across Europe face social exclusion, lack of access to quality health services and education, and barriers to employment and adequate housing. HERO aims to support Europe’s commitment made in 2020 with the launch of the EU anti-racism action plan.

→ Inclusion of Roma communities is a priority at the EU level.

HERO is about…

Investment
Innovation
Inclusion

HERO is about…

Investment
Innovation
Inclusion

HERO Journey

Throughout 2023 – 2024, about €3 million will be available to support Roma families in accessing decent housing and gainful employment in a number of municipalities in Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia.

In the long run, HERO will benefit not only the local Roma communities but also the overall population of the respective municipalities.

Step 1:

Financial literacy training and employment assistance

Step 3:

Completion of savings scheme to strengthen saving habits

Step 5:

Self-construction or renovation of houses and repayment of micro-loans

Step 2:

Implementation of innovative self-help initiatives to improve living conditions

Step 4:

Receipt of micro-loans and acquisition of land plots and construction materials

Step 1:

Financial literacy training and employment assistance

Step 2:

Implementation of innovative self-help initiatives to improve living conditions

Step 3:

Completion of savings scheme to strengthen saving habits

Step 4:

Receipt of micro-loans and acquisition of land plots and construction materials

Step 5:

Self-construction or renovation of houses and repayment of micro-loans

Step 1:

Financial literacy training
and employment assistance

Step 2:

Financial literacy training
and employment assistance

Step 3:

Completion of savings scheme
to strengthen saving habits

Step 4:

Receipt of micro-loans and acquisition
of land plots and construction materials

Step 5:

Self-construction or renovation of
houses and repayment of micro-loans

HERO Countries

HERO focuses on small-medium size municipalities (10,000 – 50,000 inhabitants) with at least 10% of Roma residents in three countries: Bulgaria, Romania, and Slovakia.

HERO Goals

HERO in action

The project facilitates access to micro-loans and provides financial literacy training, construction training, employment coaching, and mentoring, resulting in:

Better housing

Social innovation

Employment

Better housing

Social innovation

Employment

ROMA
community

Banks

Local
authorities

Civil society
organisations

HERO is overseen by the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) and involves a wide range of stakeholders:

  • Civil society organizations & financial intermediaries
  • Public authorities & private sector
  • Both local Roma and non-Roma communities

Testimonials

News

Our recent articles and media assets

Contact us

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Want to learn more about the project or share your ideas with us? Get in touch.

Council of Europe Development Bank at