LivadiaEmergency Support Programme for Integration and Accommodation (ESTIA)
What is inspiring?
Providing housing for migrants in the city centre rather than in hotspots has proven beneficial for both migrants and the local economy. Since 2016, about 70 apartments have been rented through the ESTIA programme, resulting in more than 1,500 refugees being housed in the city of Livadia. This project has allowed refugees to become acquainted with their new environment more quickly, and created new jobs for the local economy. An important factor in its success has been an ongoing dialogue between responsible politicians and the local public.
How does it operate?
Apart from housing services, the staff of the Public Benefit Enterprise of the Municipality of Livadia (KEDYL) also offer social support services. Refugee children are enrolled in public schools through the ESTIA programme. Assistance is provided on medical issues, from making an appointment or to accompanying people to the hospital or doctor, to accompanying people throughout treatment and aftercare. Finally, KEDYL staff also assist refugees in filling out the various official documents they need.
What is the outcome?
Since 2016, a total of 1,500 refugees have been housed in apartments in the city of Livadia. The ESTIA programme has also brought important economic benefits for local society. Formerly empty apartments can now be rented, providing an important income for the property owners, local contractors, such as technicians, as well as other service providers. According to KEDYL estimates, 5 million euros have flowed into the local economy since the ESTIA programme began. These important economic benefits have even managed to reverse the opinions of sceptical locals over the last few years. As the former mayor of Livadia, Giota Poulou, has stressed in public interviews, these projects have significantly contributed to making the local administration more efficient, something that benefits locals too.
Who initiated the project? How?
Livadia was the first medium-sized municipality, after Athens and Thessaloniki, to decide to run the ESTIA programme through the Public Benefit Enterprise of the Municipality of Livadia (KEDYL). Within two months KEDYL had managed to find, rent and fit out 55 apartments.