Three new blocks of resource efficient social housing for citizens who lost their homes during to the post-1990 legal retrocession process.
During Romania’s post-communist political transformation in the early 1990s, some residents lost their homes due to the legal retrocession process. This created a legacy of unstable or poor quality housing for some of those affected. As a response to these issues, this good practice demonstrates how newly constructed homes for vulnerable tenants can be coupled with important energy efficiency improvements. The ensemble consists of three blocks of flats. Each block has 25 apartments (5 single room,15 double-room and 5 three room apartments), which attract different types of tenants and encourages people to stay throughout their lifecycle. It was built on a 6,925 sqm of municipal land, located in a residential area. An array of amenities near the development help to meet residents’ needs locally. These include markets and retail next to the development. About 450 meters away there are two markets, one for beverage & food and the other one for building materials and interior design. The development is about 400 meters from the bus station that connects with the other parts of the town and about 4 km from the city’s train station.The project included initiatives to increase building energy efficiency by enhancing wall and roof insulation, adding thermal windows, and installing efficient heating systems in all the apartments. Two of the blocks have energy performance certificates (B Class of energy performance) and one has specific energy consumption of 141.42 kWh/m2/year.

Resources needed

The project cost 11,746,893 LEI (2,648,023 EUR as of Dec 2013). It was financed through national funds based on the Government Decision 74/2007, which is related to the insurance of social housing fund for tenants who were evicted or are to be evicted from the dwellings returned to the former owners

Evidence of success

The project provided 75 new dwellings targeted for the elderly, disabled and families, thereby improving the quality of life for these residents. The well-situated building, close to an array of amenities, limits dependence on the car and enables an array of residents to experience mobility freedom.

Difficulties encountered


Potential for learning or transfer

Rising social inequality and disparity among vulnerable demographics suggest that a project consisting of new homes for specific categories of citizens could be a good example to follow. By focusing on evicted people or other vulnerable tenants, a project can address affordable housing issues, while improving quality of life for marginalized groups. This example also shows that it is possible to combine social measures with green measures that are affordable for the residents when constructing new social housing complex. From targeting housing to specific groups, to connecting social issues and housing affordability with sustainability and resource efficiency, the project contains a number of good lessons that could be helpful for other interested stakeholders.

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
Alba Iulia Municipality
Centru, Romania (România)
Start Date
January 2008
End Date
December 2013


Please login to contact the author.