Premiere: we start the first project to regulate housing without legal forms



Beginning of the project to regulate housing without legal forms from the Str. Bistra, Câlnic neighborhood, Reșița

The Make Better Association, in partnership with the City Hall of Reșița and the Humanitas Pro Deo Reșița Foundation, starts the project “I have no documents. I do not exist. Innovative model of participatory intervention in informal settlements ”, which aims to support the entry into legality of families living without legal forms in the area at the end of Bistra Street, in the Câlnic neighborhood, Reșița.

This initiative is the first project to regulate an informal settlement in Romania, after the approval, in 2019, of Law 151/2019, through which informal settlements can be identified and legalized.

The legislative proposal and the adoption of the legal framework was the result of a two-year research and advocacy project, coordinated by the Make Better Association and the PACT Foundation (in partnership with the Reșița Local Action Group, Valea Corbului Initiative Group and DEP Bumbești-Jiu Association).

The law allows local authorities to implement urban and legal solutions so that families living without legal forms can obtain the right to own land on which they have built their homes.

In Romania, there are over 200,000 people, mostly Roma, living in informal settlements, according to a study conducted by the Ministry of Development in 2014.

Informal settlements are groups of dwellings usually developed on the outskirts of villages and towns, occupied by families who do not have land deeds, building permits or property documents. Due to the lack of these documents on the land and housing, families do not have, in many cases, identity cards. Most such communities in the country have limited or no access to basic utilities and services, which endangers their safety and makes it difficult for them to have adequate living conditions and a better future.

The end of Bistra Street in the Câlnic neighborhood, Reșița – the intervention area of the project – is such an informal settlement. Located on the outskirts of the city, between the railway and the river Bârzava, the area is inhabited by a community with a precarious financial situation, which lives in dilapidated houses, improvised and without legal forms. The final goal of this urban intervention is to provide legal assistance to families in Câlnic, so that they obtain a right of ownership for the land where they live and become citizens with equal rights.

The intervention from Str. Bistra is the first project in Romania that will allow, in addition to the legalization of the community that has lived there for 50-70 years, an urban restructuring of the area. Being an isolated neighborhood, located on the banks of the river Bârzava, it can be reorganized in such a way that the area is better used and give the possibility of controlled, legal expansion of the community.

Bogdan Suditu, housing and spatial planning expert within the Make Better Association.

Moreover, the project will allow the development of infrastructure that will take the community out of isolation and connect it, across the river, with the other neighborhoods of the city. An important component that can be developed in the future by the City Hall is to change the relationship between the community and the river Bârzava. The river is an important element for Resita, and in the Câlnic area it should no longer be a barrier and a danger of flooding, but a landscaped space that would contribute to increasing the quality of life in the neighborhood and, especially, to changing the perception of this neighborhood ”, said Bogdan Suditu, housing and territorial planning expert within the Make Better Association.

The project „I have no documents. I do not exist. Innovative model of participatory intervention in informal settlements ”will take place between February 2021-July 2022.

During this time, the project partners will work closely with community members to identify their housing needs, develop a zonal urban plan and implement solutions for legalization. At the end of the project, there will be a methodological guide that can become a model of good practice for authorities and associations that want to give identity to these informal settlements in the country.

All news and results will be communicated on the website

The project is carried out by the Make Better Association, in partnership with the City Hall of Resita and the Humanitas Pro Deo Resita Foundation, with the financial support of Active Citizens Fund Romania, a program funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants 2014-2021.

About MKBT: Make Better:
MKBT: Make Better is an organization that has been active in the field of local development and urban regeneration for seven years, working on the grass with local communities and authorities.

About Active Citizens Fund România:
The Active Citizens Fund Romania program is financed by the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities and strengthen bilateral relations between the 15 beneficiary states and the donor states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway). The program is administered by the consortium composed of the Foundation for Civil Society Development, the Partnership Foundation, the Resource Center for Roma Communities, the PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, which acts as a Fund Operator designated by the FMO – Grants Financial Mechanism Office EEA and Norway.

Active Citizens Fund Romania aims to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and increase the capacity of vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of EUR 46,000,000, the program aims to develop the long-term sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector, intensifying its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights while strengthening bilateral relations with donor states Iceland. , Liechtenstein and Norway.

For more information about Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please visit For more information on EEA and Norwegian Grants, visit

Locuire Informală își propune să crească într-o bibliotecă de resurse care să ajute la o mai bună înțelegere a fenomenului de locuire informală, dar și la mobilizarea pentru găsirea și implementarea de soluții.

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