Property law aspects of IDP return to Kosovo.

 The establishment of the Housing and Property Directorate (HPD) and Claims Commission (HPCC) in Kosovo has reflected an increasing focus internationally on the post-conflict restitution of housing and property rights. In approximately three years of full-scale operation, the institutions have managed to make a property rights determination on almost all of the approximate 30,000 contested residential properties. As such, HPD and HPCC are being looked to by many in other post-conflict areas as an example of how to proceed. While the efficiency of the organizations is commendable, one of the key original goals – the return of displaced persons to their homes of origin – has to a large degree been left aside. The paper focuses on two distinct failures of the international community with respect to the functioning of HPD/HPCC and its possible effect on returns: a failure of coordination between HPD/HPCC and other organizations working on returns, and the isolation of residential property rights determinations from other aspects of building a property rights-respecting culture in Kosovo.

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