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STA round table offers solutions to youth housing issues

Ljubljana, 15 April - The government plans to build additional non-profit housing to make it easier for the young to rent apartments, set up a public rental service and encourage housing cooperatives, heard a round table debate hosted by the STA on Monday.

Ljubljana
The STA hosts a debate on youth housing.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Ljubljana
The STA hosts a debate on youth housing.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Ljubljana
The STA hosts a debate on youth housing.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

"This is a multifaceted problem... Fact is that these issues had not been addressed for years. We have the national housing programme but no law regulating the field," said Anja Fortuna, the president of the Youth Council.

It is hard for the young to find the funds to purchase a home or even rent it. And even if they manage to do so, there is a shortage of suitable apartments, added Fortuna.

There are about 20,000 state-owned and municipality-owned flats in the country that are being rented out to vulnerable groups, noted Aleš Prijon, a state secretary at the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning.

In vying for non-profit rentals, the young are competing against a number of other population groups, so the only way to really address the issues of youth housing is to separate it from the housing policy in general.

The government intends to increase the housing policy funds between five and ten times to 0.4% of GDP or between EUR 180m and EUR 200m.

By autumn, the government intends to have drafted changes to the housing act, said Prijon. Among other things, it is to provide housing loan guarantees for young families and establish a public rental service to simplify the procedures for owners with the aim to lower the share of unreported rentals.

The state also intends to encourage housing cooperatives by providing plots and loans. The cooperatives would enable people to buy an apartment for a relatively low amount of funds, between EUR 15,000 and EUR 20,000, according to Prijon.

Črtomir Remec, the director of the Public Housing Fund, said that the fund's 5,700 apartments were too few. By 2023 the number of the fund's apartments is to increase by about 4,000, he said.

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© STA, 2019