Prague plans new cooperative housing

The project aims to create affordable housing for the middle class

The Prague City Council is looking at a project to build affordable housing for the middle class.

City Councilor Hana Kordová Marvanová (United Force for Prague) introduced an idea for a cooperative housing project that counts on the participation of the city.

“Prague … would establish a housing cooperative. The Capital City of Prague would provide land in its ownership, on which cooperative housing would be built. Some of these apartments (for example, 30 percent) would be available to the capital city as one of the founding members of the cooperative,” Hana Kordová Marvanová said on the City Hall website.

The remaining part, some 70 percent, would be for people who would meet predetermined criteria, such as young families, single mothers and fathers, seniors or low-income graduates at the beginning of their careers. It is also envisaged that, if conditions are met, the apartments could be transferred to the ownership of the cooperative.

“It is necessary to get a suitable partner for the realization of the project. In particular, experience in the field of housing construction and administration of the housing cooperative will be crucial. The selection should be made on the basis of a concession procedure or a tender. The chosen partner would organize the whole project,” Kordová Marvanová said.

With the chosen partner, the city would establish the housing cooperative. The newly established cooperative would finance the construction of a residential building on the basis of a bank loan.

Currently, negotiations are under way on implementing this project on selected city-owned land. Talks are taking place with representatives of the Prague 13 district, where there is suitable land owned by the city. It would be possible to build up to 150 apartments there in three new apartment buildings.

The aim of this project is to enable the middle class to get affordable housing in Prague. It is currently almost impossible, given the current situation on the housing market.

The project counts on substantially cheaper construction costs than in privately funded projects, and a reduction in the cost of an apartment because it does not include the purchase price of the land.

The project will also result in an extension of the city’s housing stock.

People will eventually be able to own the flats as cooperative members, once the initial loan is paid off.

In this way, cheaper apartments can get on the market and be more accessible to the middle class, which is most affected by the current housing market crisis, according to a City Hall statement.

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