Housing: a National Priority or a Financial Asset?

Bulgaria has gone through different periods of housing policy: from ambitious and large-scale ones under socialism to market-oriented ones after 1989. The crisis caused by COVID-19 has laid bare the fragile state of the social care system, pushed to the limit of its capacity. The unfolding energy and refugee crises risk plunging more people into poverty and homelessness in Bulgaria where the social safety net does not always protect the most vulnerable. Poor housing conditions, far from being confined to Roma neighborhoods, affect a large part of the population. Housing is not among the priorities of Bulgarian public policies. In the public sphere, the issue of housing is absent or is reduced to the problems with illegal constructions or soaring property prices. Treating housing as a financial asset rather than a fundamental human right is one of the main reasons for the growing inequalities.