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The number of uninhabitable housing in Bulgaria is growing

They are 1 220 416 or more than 31% of all homes in the country, the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works (MRDPW) announced.

At the same time, more and more people do not have the chance to acquire their own residential property or need support to rent. Therefore, one of the main tasks in housing management in Bulgaria is to find ways to reduce the number of uninhabitable dwellings and increase their usability.

The strategy records that housing is constantly growing. In the period up to 2020, the construction boom from 2007-2009 will be surpassed with the construction of about 20,000 dwellings per year. These forecasts are based on the expected economic growth in the country and the growing investment interest, which is expressed in the search for land and the large number of issued building permits. The number of dwellings exceeds the number of households and housing consumption is comparable to that in the EU (550 dwellings / 1000 inhabitants). But the problem is that financial access to housing is getting worse, the MRDPW said. The cost / income ratio is rising. In 2015, according to NSI data, the cost of housing exceeds 6.6 times the income. By comparison, in 2013 this ratio is 6.3 times or the proportion of people in need of support for housing acquisition or rent increases.

Another problem identified in the strategy is that public housing is reduced to a symbolic share of 2.4%.

It is difficult to manage because of its dispersion among private condominiums and municipalities have limited resources to maintain it.

The conclusion is that it is necessary to find mechanisms for adapting the existing housing stock and its rational use. One of the ideas is to make tax changes by providing incentives to provide an unoccupied dwelling for social purposes. The purpose of the public discussion of the strategy is to gather ideas and develop the best mechanism for the benefit of all stakeholders, the MRDPW said.

The Strategy also states that over 91% of the fund has a reliable construction - massive reinforced concrete, panel or solid. More than three quarters of the country's apartments are in buildings over 30 years old. The lack of maintenance of these buildings leads to rapid deterioration, so there is an urgent need for a massive renovation of existing housing stock and increase its usability, says the strategy. Another conclusion is that the share of homeowners who find it difficult to withhold their property under current market conditions is increasing. However, due to the fact that many people have difficulty allocating funds to maintain their homes, it is suggested that they can use low-interest loans or other financial instruments that can be combined with a grant.

The amount of aid will also depend on the measures to be financed. It is suggested that support for the improvement of constructive sustainability and energy efficiency be realized only in case the renovation does not involve more than 50% of the value in new construction. In the mass case, updating by performing all the prescriptions of the technical passport would cover less than 30% of the value of new construction.

Active and systematic housing policies need to be clearly defined at the central and local levels. At the central level, a body administering a comprehensive housing subsidy system and implementing a national housing policy is needed. At local level, capacity is needed to create and implement municipal housing programs. This does not exempt the state from responsibilities for social housing and renewal of the existing fund, which will fulfill the commitments made to the New Agenda for EU Cities and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.v