Housing

Croatia

Country Report: Housing Last updated: 12/01/21

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According to the amendments of the LITP adopted in December 2017, entered into force on 1 January 2018, asylees and foreigners under subsidiary protection have the right to accommodation if they do not possess the financial means or property to support themselves.[1]

The procedure for recognising the right to accommodation is initiated by the submission of a request to the competent social welfare centre. The competent Centre is the centre in the place of domicile of the asylee and foreigner under subsidiary protection. The Centre renders a decision. An appeal may be lodged against the decision within 15 days of the date of delivery of the decision, but appeal does not delay enforcement of decision. The ministry responsible for social welfare renders a decision on the appeal, against which a lawsuit may be filed with the competent administrative court within eight days of the date of service of the decision. Asylees and foreigners under subsidiary protection have the right to accommodation for a maximum period of two years from the date on which the decision approving international protection is served.[2] With the expiry of 2 years’ time limit they have the right to accommodation pursuant to the legislation regulating the field of social welfare.[3] In practice however, beneficiaries of international protection are allowed to stay in the Reception Centre for Applicants for International Protection until appropriate accommodation (a flat) is found for them.

If the Centre establishes that the asylee or foreigner under subsidiary protection generates the financial means or owns property that could be used to generate funds to participate in the payment of accommodation costs, the decision recognising the right to accommodation shall state that the asylee or foreigner under subsidiary protection is to participate in the payment of accommodation costs by making a payment into the account of the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care.

If the Centre, in procedures within its remit, establishes, after the decision recognising the right to accommodation becomes enforceable, that the asylee or foreigner under subsidiary protection has the financial means or property to generate funds to participate in the payment of accommodation costs, it shall quash the decision and issue a new decision, recognising the right to accommodation of the asylee or foreigner under subsidiary protection and establishing the obligation to participate in the payment of accommodation costs. An appeal against the decision may be lodged within 15 days of the delivery of the decision but it does not delay its enforcement.[4] The ministry responsible for social welfare renders a decision on the appeal, against which a lawsuit may be filed with the competent administrative court within eight days of the date of delivery of the decision.

The right to accommodation of an asylee and foreigner under subsidiary protection shall cease in the following cases:[5]

  • upon the expiry of 2 years’ time limit;
  • upon personal request;
  • if he or she refuses the accommodation provided without justified reason;
  • if he or she fails without justified reason to reside at the registered address for a period longer than 30 days;
  • if he or she does not meet the conditions for recognition of the right to accommodation;
  • if it is established that he or she fails to take due and responsible care of the accommodation provided;
  • if it is established that he or she uses the accommodation provided contrary to its purpose.

Save in the case referred to in item 1 above, the Centre, after establishing in the prescribed procedure the conditions referred to in items 2 to 7 above, shall quash the decision and shall adopt a new decision establishing the termination of the right to accommodation, against which an appeal may be lodged within 15 days from the date on which the decision is delivered. The appeal does not delay the enforcement of the decision. The ministry responsible for social welfare shall render a decision on the appeal, against which a lawsuit may be filed with the competent administrative court within eight days of the date of service of the decision.

Enforceable decisions shall be delivered to the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care.

Pursuant to the decision recognising the right to accommodation, the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care shall secure to asylees and foreigners under subsidiary protection housing units that are the property of the Republic of Croatia or are at the disposal of the Central State Office as per lease agreements concluded with other natural persons.

The Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care shall sign a contract on lease or sublease of the housing unit with the asylee and foreigner under subsidiary protection whose right to accommodation is recognised, for a maximum period of two years from the date on which the decision approving international protection becomes enforceable. The contract on the lease or sublease shall define mutual rights and obligations.

Funds for the costs of accommodation shall be earmarked in the State Budget of the Republic of Croatia under the item for the Central State Office for Reconstruction and Housing Care.

The provision of accommodation also include the process of finding, adapting, furnishing, maintaining, and the settlement of utility costs and leasing costs for the housing unit provided.

According to Jesuit Refugee Service, finding apartments has become harder for refugees, especially for single men. This is due to both the reluctance of owners to rent apartments to foreigners and to the increase of renting prices in Zagreb.

The Ordinance on participation of asylees, foreigners under subsidiary protection and foreigners under temporary protection in the payment of accommodation costs entered into force in July 2018.

 


[1]           Articles 67 and 67a LITP.

[2]           Article 67(4) LITP.

[3]           Article 67(5) LITP.

[4]           Article 67 (7) LITP.

[5]           Article 67(8) LITP.

 

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 I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation