On April 7, 2015 the head of Orphans’ Future, Andriy Nazarenko had a working meeting with the mayor of the City of Ternopil, Mr. Sergiy Nadal. Andriy and the mayor discussed the problem of housing for orphans who have been registered with the city council for years but are not given state guaranteed social housing when they leave the orphanage as orphan graduates. Solving housing problems of graduates is a key issue to ensure a stable future life for orphans who make the transition to life outside the orphanage. It was discussed that the current situation is now becoming a crisis as orphan graduates and children deprived of parental care when the time comes for leaving the boarding schools have nowhere to live, and so urgent action is needed from the local authorities.
According to Art. 32, 33 of the Law of Ukraine “On the organizational and legal conditions for social protection of orphans and children deprived of parental care” (2342-15), local administrations and local authorities are responsible for providing the housing of orphans and children deprived of parental care. In cases where the orphans were entitled to housing previously owned by their family, the administration is legally required to make this housing available to the orphan graduates when they leave the orphanage. However in the absence of such housing, the administration is required to provide temporary housing and provide more permanent housing in a timely manner.
Monitoring conducted by the State Social Service regarding graduates show the impossibility of providing free social housing for orphans and children deprived of parental care and cannot implement this legally defined right. The problem is a complicated one for the administration. One major problem is that the Dept. of Accounting and Apartment Property state that they have not kept records of orphans eligible for housing because the Ternopil City Council has formed a Social Housing Dept. who should be keeping these records but didn't. Accordingly, housing is not made available to orphans who are entitled to it. Among the typical causes of not providing social housing were listed as follows:
- Lack of adequate funding;
- Lack of available apartments, or houses that could be used as a social housing;
- Lack of local programs of social housing;
- Not enough redundancy land with infrastructure construction on which to build social housing;
- The developers who are required by law to allocate a certain number of newly built apartments for social housing, do not inform the administration when these apartments are available.
Considering the above, the head of Orphans’ Future, Andriy Nazarenko recommended that the administration tighten control over the implementation of the legally enforceable right to housing of orphans and children deprived of parental care, One recommendation was that the city council allocate funds from its annual budget to the Social Housing Fund and some of these funds can then be made available to orphan graduates to purchase housing at prices less than those on the open market. In addition, Andriy Nazarenko together with volunteer Zhenia Lysnyak submitted a Draft Proposal providing "mechanisms of influence" such as requiring that building companies sign an agreement with the city council in which the builders agree to provide a stipulated number of new apartments that will be given to house orphans in return for the council providing the land on which the new apartment block is to be built, at a lower cost. A similar plan was already successfully implemented in Kiev and the Kiev Region. In turn, the mayor promised to process the submitted draft and rapidly come up with concrete proposals for discussion and adoption of the program at the local level.
Orphans’ Future Foundation is seeking to make financial investment in this project together with the city council. It is important that the local authorities desire to solve this problem working together with organizations such as Orphans' Future who represent the interests of the orphans. At present there are 14 orphans who urgently need housing assistance