Types of accommodation

Bulgaria

Country Report: Types of accommodation Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Bulgarian Helsinki Committee Visit Website

Reception centres are managed by the SAR. As of the end of 2019, there were 4 reception centres in Bulgaria. The total capacity as of 31 December 2019 was as follows:

Reception centre

Location

Capacity

Occupancy end 2019

Sofia

Sofia

2,030

346

Ovcha Kupel shelter

 

860

124

Vrazhdebna shelter

 

370

164

Voenna Rampa shelter

 

800

48

Closed 3rd Block Busmantsi

 

60

10

Banya

Central Bulgaria

70

0

Pastrogor

South-Eastern Bulgaria

320

0

Harmanli

South-Eastern Bulgaria

2,710

115

Total

 

5,130

461

Source: Ministry of Interior. Note that the occupancy rate includes the closed centre in “3rd Block” in Busmantsi, which is a closed centre.

 

The SAR Vrazhdebna shelter in Sofia, which was closed from December 2018 to May 2019, re-opened.

461 asylum seekers resided in reception centres as of the end of 2019, thereby marking an occupancy rate of 9%.

Wherever possible, there is a genuine effort to accommodate nuclear families together and in separate rooms. Single asylum seekers are accommodated together with others, although conditions vary considerably from one centre to another. Some of the shelters are used for accommodation predominantly of a certain nationality or nationalities. For example, prior to its closure, Vrazhdebna shelter in Sofia accommodated predominantly Syrians and Iraqis, Voenna Rampa shelter in Sofia accommodates almost exclusively Afghan and Pakistani asylum seekers, while the other reception centres accommodate mixed nationalities, such as in Harmanli reception centre, Banya reception centre and Ovcha Kupel shelter in Sofia.

Alternative accommodation outside the reception centres is allowed under the law, but only if it is paid for by the asylum seekers themselves and if they have consented to waive their right to the monthly social allowance.[1] They must submit a formal waiver from their right to accommodation and social assistance, as warranted by law, and declare to cover rent and other related costs at their own expenses.[2] Except for the few asylum seekers who are able to finance private accommodation on their own, other group of individuals living at external addresses include Dublin returnees, to whom the SAR applies the exclusion from social benefits, including accommodation, as a measure of sanction in accordance with the law (see Withdrawal of Reception Conditions).[3] As of 31 December 2019 only 140 asylum seekers lived outside the reception centres under the conditions as described above.[4]



[1]           Article 29(6) LAR.

[2]           Article 29(9) LAR; Article 29(1)(2) LAR.

[3]           Article 29(4) LAR.

[4]           Ministry of Interior, Migration statistics, 31 December 2019.

 

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation