Does the Ukraine Need Social Housing Reform?

An interesting article was sent to me by a friend a few days ago.  The major point of the article was that the Ukraine needs to convert a large majority of its privately owned housing to social housing.  This is not only to help low income households who apparently are in no position to be owning their own units but also just to keep up on the capital work that needs to take place to keep the buildings from falling into disrepair.  I recommend this article .  The provision of social housing in Ukraine is managed through a wait list system.   Because the provision is seen as a right, the wait lists never really put preferences for low-income households.  (See Research Here).

I saw a similar situation playing out in Talinn, Estonia back in a visit in 2015.  Both the Ukraine and Estonia handled the fall of Communism very similarly in regards to the housing stock.  The government could no longer take the responsibility of owning and operating all of the collective real estate that had been developed or taken over during the Soviet hay-days.  In Estonia, residents of these large soviet style block housing units had to bond together and create management structures to care for the day to day property/asset management needs of the building.  The residents in Estonia also struggled to care for long term care.

The issue at hand in many of these countries is that the citizens and the government both lack the funds to redevelop the old housing stock.  Estimates in the Ukraine put the cost at 200 billion Ukrainian Hryvnia.  It is estimated that 180,000 families would qualify for social housing if the provision were offered as needed.

The way forward for the Ukraine might  involve stronger relations with the European Union.  With a lack of funds, a somewhat ineffective bureaucracy and crumbling infrastructure it is hard to see how major changes can be made in the Ukrainian social housing sector.   Interestingly the Ukraine is taking around 56 million euro from Germany in 2017 to develop and build social housing. (More info here)  The housing is to be for displaced refugees.  I am not sure if this is meant for internal refugees of the Russian/Ukrainian situation in the Crimea Donetsk conflict.   It might also be meant to help house many of the refugees pouring into Europe from Syria and other war torn area.  I should mention that the money is a loan.

The next decade in the Ukraine and other former Soviet Block countries will be interesting in regards to social housing.  The housing stock simply needs to be regenerated.  The government also needs to figure out a way to develop new social housing and reform its current systems and programs.  Do you have any thoughts, ideas or information on social housing in Ukraine?  If so, please leave a comment so I can update this article as time goes on.

 

Picture Credit to English/Russia-http://englishrussia.com/2013/03/24/kiev-ukraine-today/#more-122078

 

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