Housing Specialist for Drafting the Design Standards for Specialized Housing

United Nations Development Programme, Tirana, Albania

Skill Required:, Project/ Programme Management
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
25th June, 2021

Job Description


  • The Leave No One Behind (LNB) Programme builds upon the vast experience of UN and UNDP in addressing social inclusion and the needs of vulnerable groups. It is supporting the implementation of the newly shaped vision of the social sector in Albania, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the country’s aspirations towards EU integration. LNB avails of technical expertise and know-how of UN agencies aiming at allowing for greater impact and outreach by focusing on the municipal level and its linkage to the national level. The objective of this four-year programme (2017 – 2021) is to empower vulnerable persons and groups to have equal access to public services and opportunities, to have a voice in public decision-making affecting their lives, and to hold the duty bearers accountable. The programme’s interventions are designed to:
  • strengthen the vulnerable population to request and receive adequate social services from local authorities that support their social inclusion,
  • help municipalities to effectively manage the provision of social services and promote social inclusion,
  • support national institutions to implement their policy framework for providing social services and adequately fund social services.
  • The third outcome of the programme reflects its concern with anchoring the interventions at system level, i.e. to contribute to the further development and implementation of policies and laws relevant for social inclusion.
  • The programme’s implementation is the responsibility of the four UN agencies UNDP, UNICEF, UN Women and UNFPA, whereas funding support is provided by Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC).

The Law “On Social Housing”

  • Law no. 22 “On Social Housing” was approved by the Parliament of Albania on 3 May 2018. It was drafted with UNDP assistance and expertise, as part of UNDP’s contribution to furthering the social inclusion agenda in the country, and with CoE support availed to the Ministry of Urban Development. The law aims at creating opportunities for adequate and affordable housing for a safe, dignified and peaceful life, relying on the solvency of individuals and families in need of housing and in need of state aid. It intends to provide a tailored approach to the needs of people with disabilities, the elderly, children and other groups, by reducing the efforts of these groups to meet their specific housing needs. The law attempts to meet the obligations of harmonisation of national and international legislation regarding the right to adequate housing which in international law is enshrined in several legal instruments.
  • The social housing programs foreseen in the law include: 1) the Social Housing Rental Program, SHR (BSQ); 2) program to Enhance the Conditions of Existing dwellings or construction of new ones; 3) the Affordable Dwelling Unit program, ADU (BKU); 4) the Area Development program for Housing purposes; 5) the Temporary Shelter (accommodation) program; 6) the Specialized Housing program. Besides existing programs like BSQ and BKU, this law brought about several innovations including the creation of a public fund for social housing, the introduction of the meaning, role and status of the social owner, provision of a points-based criteria system of assessing the eligibility of the applicants, the Temporary Shelter program, the Specialized Housing program, and other specific obligations that the law imposes on the local governments and on the private sector contributions relevant to social housing.
  • The law for the first time foresees the creation of a specialized housing program, which comprises housing for people with special needs including the elderly, persons with disabilities, victims and potential victims of trafficking, victims of family violence, children without parental care or in state protection and who are prepared to move to independent life, juveniles from 14 to 18 or young people 18 to 21 years after the release or completion of penal justice programs and child mothers.
  • Currently, UNDP, through its LNB programme, is continuing to support the Government of Albania for the implementation of the law on Social Housing.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • The Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE), through a dedicated Unit on Social Housing, with technical support from UNDP/LNB prepared all relevant secondary legislation to support the implementation of the Law on Social Housing. Among others, the assessment of the law has revealed the need to draft Design Standards for Specialized Housing that will be part of the implementation of various programs foreseen by the law. Specifically, Article 58 (point 2) of the law stipulates:
  • Conditions and norms of designing specialised housing shall be drafted by the relevant ministry for housing in collaboration with other relevant ministries and shall be approved through decision of the Council of Ministers.
  • It is important that besides consideration for these national norms and standards, a selection of houses that will be assigned as meeting the social housing needs should also comply with:
  • the special accessibility requirements for the “specialized houses”, which should be available for use not only by persons with disabilities, but also by other brackets of people including victims of domestic violence, children not under parental custody, etc.
  • In the framework of LNB, UNDP will be engaging a Housing Specialist (hereafter “the Consultant”) to assist the Housing Unit/MoFE to Specialist to come up with the Design Standards for Specialized Housing in Albania (as stipulated by article 58 of the Law no. 22/2018)  taking in consideration the principles of Universal design. Accessibility to the physical environment, including buildings, is required by Article 9 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)[1].

Duties and responsibilities

Under the supervision of the UNDP / LNB Programme Coordinator and with guidance and technical support of the Head of Housing Unit at MoFE, the Consultant will carry out the following main tasks:

  • Review and analyse existing housing practices, and design standards and discuss their implication in meeting the requirements for application of programmes foreseen by Law no. 22, with a special focus on “specialised houses”
  • Define and propose the Design Standards for Specialized Housing specified for each group defined in article 58 of the law 22/2018
  • Provide design standards for different typologies of specialized houses, i.e.: residential complexes or individual apartments mixed with non specialized houses;
  • Draft reports and other relevant documents in English language for the each of the above tasks, and submit them to the Head of Housing Unit at MoFE and to the LNB coordinator in charge for this assignment, seeking comments and approval
  • Upon review of drafts documents and after incorporating suggestions and input as relevant, submit the final documents consisting of a proposal of design standards and norms for specialised housing relevant to the requirements of Law no. 22, including any technical designs, if/when necessary.

Expected Outputs and Deliverables:

  • A draft of the design standards and norms for specialised housing, in English language
  • A final document, incorporating suggestions and input as relevant, including:
  • the Final Proposed Design Standards and Norms for Specialised Housing
  • The Consultant’s report comprising important observations, conclusions and recommendations for future work.



  • Demonstrates integrity by modelling the UN's values and ethical standards;
  • Commitment to UNDP’s mission, vision and values;
  • Sensitivity to cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age differences.


  • Excellent understanding of key construction design legal documents and practices in the area of housing with a focus on social housing
  • Very good analytic report writing skills, in Albanian and English, including very good knowledge and use of both technical construction and socio-economic concepts
  • Ability to work independently, with some (albeit necessary) interaction with other professionals, results-orientation, and ability to perform under pressure and deliver as per the set deadlines
  • Very good verbal and written communication skills, in Albanian and English, obtained through direct interaction with Albanian government organisations (ministries, institutes and agencies) and international inter-governmental organisations (including UN)

Required Skills and Experience

Academic qualification:

Advanced academic degree in architecture or closely related field of studies

Relevant work experience:

  • Minimum eight years of direct experience in carrying out analytical studies in national housing practices from a combined architectural normative and socio-economic viewpoint
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Albanian national legislation in construction and housing with a focus on social housing, obtained through demonstrated experience in drafting legal normative documents
  • Good understanding of and insights on the past and present developments concerning the legal, social and economic status of Roma and Egyptians and people with disabilities in Albania demonstrated through own work experience, achievements and contribution
  • Relevant experience with UN Agencies or other international organizations would be appreciated


  • Fluency in written and spoken English is essential.


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