State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction is a Partner of the Housing Cooperatives Symposium

Today a 2-day international symposium "Housing Cooperatives as a Model for Creating Affordable and Adequate Housing in Ukraine" began in Kyiv.

The event is organized by the Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe (IWO) jointly with Center of Competence for Major Housing Estates supported by Cooperative Housing International (CHI) and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, in partnership with the State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction and PO Centre of Local Government Studies.

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The event seeks to give an impulse to a discussion on revival of housing cooperatives in Ukraine as a model for creating affordable and adequate housing and their use in the state and regional programs.

Leaders of the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine Lev Partskhaladze and of the Ministry of Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine Heorhii Tuka opened the Symposium from the Ukrainian side.

Gunther Adler, State Secretary, German Government opened the Symposium from the German side.

2Lev Partskhaladze mentioned in his welcoming remarks that much attention is needed for housing issues and permanent search for ways to solve them. The Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Communal Services of Ukraine works in cooperation with the State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction upon a new philosophy and project that is rental housing.

3Heorhii Tuka mentioned that IDPs need their own normal housing, not a housing in temporary cities, in ‘houses-containers’. State program “Affordable Housing” is the only possibility to provide them with housing. That’s why he addressed Aliona Babak, a Member of the Ukrainian Parliament who was present at the event urging to support the increase of financing of the program up to proposed UAH 1 bln. Speaking about housing cooperatives it’s worth mentioning they also need the support from the state.

4Gunther Adler, in his turn, happily offered cooperation and called Ukraine not only trusted partner, but friend too.

Serhii Komnatnyi, Chairman of the Board of the State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction and Knut Hoeller, director of the Housing Initiative for Eastern Europe were moderators during presentations and discussions.

Guido Schwarzendahl, Vice-President of Cooperative Housing International took the floor with the presentation Cooperatives as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Representatives of unions, associations and federations of housing cooperatives from Germany, Austria, Norway, Poland, Estonia, Sweden and the USA presented the principles and practice of work of housing cooperatives in their countries.

Serhii Komnatnyi, Anders Lago, President of Cooperative Housing International and Domenica Carriero, Associate Economic Affairs Officer, Housing and Land Management Unit, UNECE dwelled upon legislative regulation on housing cooperatives in Ukraine and international practice.

Serhii Komnatnyi reminded in his speech that the State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction ensures implementation of Goal 11 approved by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development  - SUSTAINABLE  DEVELOPMENT OF CITIES AND COMMUNITIES, in particular, defined by the ‘Sustainable Development Goals: Ukraine’ national report task 11.1 – to ensure affordable housing. In view of the economic realities, an urgent need occurs to search for alternative possibilities of reaching this ambitious goal. Housing cooperative may become economically justified model for creating affordable and adequate housing in Ukraine.

In case of using a housing cooperative in the state and municipal housing programs, housing cost will decrease by approximately 20%. Both participant of the program and the state will get economic profit out of this, because program participant will pay less and the necessary state support sum will be lesser with the decrease of housing cost, as, for instance, it may work in program “Affordable housing”.

Housing and construction cooperatives (HCC) as a way to purchase a housing in newly constructed house has a deep historic root in our country, - went on the Head of the State Fund for Support of Youth Housing Construction.

At present, attention towards the alleged use of such a mechanism of housing construction financing somehow decreased. Housing cooperation should be filled with new gist in Ukraine, the legislation should be updated, experience of the leading world countries should be taken into account, where such institutions effectively work, - leader of the Fund said.

Serhii Komnatnyi emphasized that creation and activities of housing and construction cooperatives as of managing companies need additional legal regulation. To renew the activities of HCC as an effective instrument of construction and exploitation of housing dwellings he considers necessary taking such measures:

-         to draft a separate law regulating the HCC creation and activities;

-         to amend the current Housing Code of Ukraine until a new Housing Code is adopted, having regulated the issue of creating and membership in housing and construction cooperatives;

-         to regulate the issue of HCC activities as a housing manager by means of amending the legislation.

Volodymyr Brigilevich, Chairman of the Board of the LPO Centre of Local Government Studies (Lviv) took the floor with theoverview on housing cooperatives in Ukraine. Presentations of regional representatives of POs and Ukrainian cities were substantial and informative.

Lutz Horn-Haacke, Director of KfW Office Kyiv took part in the Symposium, as well as the representatives of the International Organization for Migration, the Danish Refugee Council, diplomatic corps, Members of the Ukrainian Parliament,  people’s deputies of city councils, leadership of the Association of Ukrainian Cities.

The presentations made during the first day of the international forum, were dedicated to the current situation of creation and activities of housing and construction cooperatives in Ukraine, situation, when a developer uses a form of the housing cooperative for construction and then sells flats.

Round table discussion on the future of the housing cooperative model in Ukraine with the participation of experts from Ukraine and foreign states will take place on the second day of the symposium.

Joint Statement is planned to be signed under results of the Symposium work. The participants of the event will ask the Government of Ukraine to create conditions to revive housing cooperatives in Ukraine as a model for creating affordable and adequate housing with the possibility of their further use in state and regional housing programs;

-         will urge the Government of Ukraine to consider the possibility of using housing and construction cooperatives as an inalienable part of the European model of providing citizens with housing of acceptable quality at a moderate price;

-         will emphasize the necessity to improve the normative regulation of activities of housing and construction cooperatives, regulating the organization and activities of housing and construction cooperatives by means of bringing civil and housing legislation of Ukraine in conformity with modern social and economic, as well as legal realities to those of European standards.