Homes are in houses (of various shapes and forms). This was pointedly illustrated by a displaced Serbian professor as he showed a TV reporter his most cherished belongings, a row of worn books: “I have a home”, he lamented, “but no house to put it in!”
Settlement Rehabilitation Programmes (SRPs) are found in a wide variety of field settings but the same basic criteria and methodology of approach are necessary to ensure their effectiveness and sustainability.
Housing reconstruction is not just a question of building houses. It is about return and restoring the right to return to all those who lose this right during conflict.
As Israel refuses to accept responsibility for their exodus from their Palestinian homeland – and Lebanon refuses to allow them to resettle – displaced Palestinians have to deal with the knowledge that their homes in Lebanon are not really homes, while their real homes are not about to be restored to them.
Despite deep ties to their houses and land, Eritrean refugees repatriating from Sudan have defied most observers’ expectations by deciding not to settle in their villages of origin.