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Czech Government approves social housing bill, ANO insists on reservations

11.3.2017 12:02
Members of the Platform for Social Housing protested on 29 September 2015 in front of the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry in Prague against draft legislation proposing to reduce the amount of housing benefits paid to landlords on behalf of tenants in residential hotels, where a lack of price ceilings has created a situation in which landlords charge extortionate rents. The sign reads
Members of the Platform for Social Housing protested on 29 September 2015 in front of the Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry in Prague against draft legislation proposing to reduce the amount of housing benefits paid to landlords on behalf of tenants in residential hotels, where a lack of price ceilings has created a situation in which landlords charge extortionate rents. The sign reads "Don't turn residential hotel tenants into hostages". (PHOTO: Jan Čonka, Romea.cz)

The long-anticipated, much-discussed social housing bill will now make its way to the Czech Chamber of Deputies. The bill, the authors of which claim it should reduce trafficking in poverty, was approved by the Government on 8 March, according to cabinet spokesperson Martin Ayrer.

According to the proposed legislation, municipalities should voluntarily offer social apartment units to their residents - however, if they do not choose to administer such programs, units will be offered to the needy by the State Fund for Housing Development. In order for the law to take effect, it must be approved by the Czech Parliament prior to the October elections and signed into law by the President.

Some institutions and ministries have reservations about the form of the law. Czech Regional Development Minister Karla Šlechtová (for ANO) said after the cabinet vote that her ministry is insisting on narrowing the eligibility criteria for such aid.

If the bill passes, applicants for social apartments could begin applying to the authorities for them in mid-2018. Actually moving in to social housing would then be possible for them by mid-2020 at the latest.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Government of the Czech Republic, Housing, law, social housing



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