State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction and UNDP – Together Towards Transparency

Directions of cooperation of the State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction and United Nations Development Programme in Ukraine (UNDP) were discussed at the meeting of Chairman of institution’s Board Serhii Komnatnyi with Marcus Brand, Democratic Governance Advisor, Team Leader at UNDP and Nazar Hrom, UNDP Anti-Corruption Policy Expert in Ukraine on December 4.

First Deputy Chairman of the Fund’s Board Ivan Parukh and institution’s Anti-Corruption Policy Officer Liubov Paustovska took part in the meeting.

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 At the beginning of the talk Serhii Komnatnyi informed about the measures the Fund is taking to minimize corruption risks in its activities, to increase the level of transparency and openness for citizens. He dwelled upon the completion of upgrading of the state Affordable Housing programme owing to which a person chooses a dwelling for investment on his/ her own, without imposing by a public official. The head of the institution expressed hope that people will get wider possibilities to buy their own housing based on transparency after approving the modern mechanism of loans for housing purchase by citizens.

During communication, it went about multifaceted international cooperation, the Fund established with international organizations, including NGOs receiving donations from governments of the USA, Great Britain and the European Union in the course of the last year. The main aim of such cooperation is search for donors to finance various possible ways to provide the Ukrainian citizens with housing, particularly those who need the state support as a matter of high priority. Conceptual notes for such cooperation are being prepared.

Thus, UNHCR is analyzing the work of Affordable Housing programme. As to solving IDPs’ housing problems, study of the world practices in the housing policy domain the Fund is cooperating with the Council of Europe’s Project, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Danish Refugee Council, International Organization for Migration and other agencies. Memoranda on cooperation were signed with German Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe and the Estonian Union of Cooperative Housing Associations. Working relations were established with Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank Mr. Wenzel. The dialogue goes on with Head of the European Investment Bank Representation for Ukraine Mr. de Zagon concerning possible joint projects.

“We are doing all of this in view of unsatisfactory financing of housing problems solutions of our citizens, - Mr. Komnatnyi said. – The law foresees the possibility of involvement of extrabudgetary funds, so we’ve prepared a pool of projects for possible foreign investments and donations at the moment. Fund’s programmes which have not been financed for years were included there, as well as pilot projects.”

Speaking about the possibilities of cooperation with UNDP Marcus Brand and Nazar Hrom informed about the possibility to develop a special anti-corruption programme based on international standards, which will be grounded on exposure, assessment and making potential corruption risks impossible in the activities of the State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction.

Fund’s Anti-Corruption Officer Liubov Paustovska provided information about specific methods of prevention and detection of corrupt actions in the Fund’s work.

The Chairman of the Board of the State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction thanked for the UNDP’s readiness to provide assistance to the Fund in corruption risks assessment during the implementation of housing programmes. “Both we and our programmes are open for analysis and recommendations”,- Mr. Komnatnyi emphasized.

Marcus Brand suggested, on his part, commencing cooperation from those measures that can be implemented rather quickly. This, for instance, may be developing and conducting a training for employees including issues of conflict of interests, corruption risks assessments, access to information and budgeting.

Herewith, addressing Serhii Komnatnyi Mr. Brand stressed: “I see a leader in you capable of changing Ukraine. I like your initiatives and openness for joint work. Spending budgetary funds in a fair way is definitely for the sake of citizens of your state.”

“My team and I are simply doing our job”, - the Chairman of the Fund’s Board concluded the meeting. – We are united in aspirations to make all our technological processes open for public control to eliminate the least threats of corruption.

Under results of communication parties agreed to assess corruption risks of the State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction encompassing all vulnerable spheres of institution’s activities, as well as design the development of anti-corruption programme  of state authorities in housing sector based on the developed corruption risks assessment.