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Housing and Property Rights in Kosovo - Collection of Basic Texts (PDF)
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BTF Habitat Experts Mission

The BTF-Habitat experts have been working with UNMIK in Kosovo from July 1999 in two key areas of civil affairs: municipal administration and the review of housing/property law as well as the regularization of property (real estate) tenure, transactions and registration (cadastre).

The objectives of the first phase of activities were: to provide rapid technical support to UNMIK in dealing with emergency issues in the above areas; to assess immediate and short-term needs for support to the municipal administrations and draw plans for its provision; and to formulate medium-term programmes that would require additional resources.

The  second phase of activities were carried out as an integral part of UNMIK's operations and in the framework of the evolving policies and operational priorities.

The team activities have been:

Urban Management - Strategic forms of support to UNMIK Regional Administrators and transitional municipal governments are urgently required. A project proposal is being developed entitled "Partnerships for local development - Strategies for sustainable urban governance".

Housing Law - An initial assessment of the housing legal framework has begun. A meeting of experts is being convened on 16 August to identify models for the restitution of property rights and compensation mechanisms based upon lessons learnt elsewhere.

Property Registration - Assessment of the housing and property registration has been completed. Parts of the cadastre system have been lost or destroyed. Project design and identification of partners to assist with implementation is on going.

Environmental Management - A rapid environmental management assessment has been undertaken. Practical recommendations are being developed to strengthen the policy, legal and institutional framework in this regard.

Urban Reconstruction/Rehabilitation - A "Quick Impact Project" has been submitted for funding of a community based clean-up & minor repair project. Discussions with the EU/UNHCR and donors are underway with regards to identifying appropriate strategies for the longer-term development needs of Kosovar urban centers.

The BTF-Habitat experts organized a workshop in Pristina, from 16 - 19 August, to consider the creation of an independent Commission on Housing and Property Rights under the auspices of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).

A meeting was held between the BTF Habitat experts in Kosovo and UNMIK's Civil Administration Office, Mr. Gerard Fischer on 20 August.

Laws discriminating against the housing rights of ethnic Albanians have been repealed in Kosovo as a result of the work of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat). This is part of a longer process to restore housing rights and to establish a ‘Housing and Property Body’ to deal with disputes in the province. (Property Regulation)

Aware of the crucial importance of regularising ownership rights, and based on Habitat’s considerable experience in other post-conflict zones, UNMIK and Habitat have agreed to continue collaborating until the end of the year 2000. During this second phase, which will require less than ten million dollars, Habitat hopes to establish mechanisms for mapping and recreating land registration and titling systems to facilitate investment, reconstruction and rehabilitation. Habitat also hopes to provide direct technical assistance to re-establish municipal administrations and to set up the necessary legal and institutional structures to ensure the property rights of all citizens in Kosovo. (Press release)

Habitat team report is available in Portable Document Format (PDF).


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