Prague city council looks at construction of social housing

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Prague City Hall is planning to build hundreds of council houses within the next few years, the daily Hospodářské noviny wrote on Thursday. The first apartments are set to be built at the Černý Most housing estate within the next two years. According to the daily, City Hall plans to select more locations in the city where hundreds of council apartments could be built in the near future.

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Over the past 15 years, the city has sold off most of its housing stock but now it seems to be changing its strategy, planning to build hundreds of new council apartments.

“Our first project has been prepared for the Černý Most housing estate and others could be designed within the horizon of two to three years,” Petra Kolínská, the Deputy Mayor for urban planning, told Hospodářské noviny.

“The city is currently selecting locations where new apartments could be built in the future. We are also working on the concept of a housing policy which is based on the city’s strategic plan,” she said.

According to city councillor Radek Lacko, the construction works at Černý Most will get underway next year. The city plans to build 180 apartments with different dispositions, including flats for people with disabilities. Some of the apartments will be reserved for people working in care and emergency professions, such as doctors and firemen, and part will be rented for market rents.

The City Hall originally planned to build 250 smaller apartments, but changed its strategy due to the lack of larger flats suitable for families with children.

According to preliminary estimates, the project of council housing should cost around 500 million crowns. The construction will be financed from the State Fund for Housing Development, where the city currently has around three billion crowns it can call on.

According to the daily Hospodářské noviny, the 12 locations where new council houses could be built in the future include the districts Libeň, Vinohrady, and Troja.

It is not yet clear whether the city will cooperate with private investors, Hospodářské noviny wrote. The first cooperation of such a kind took place at the beginning of this year, when Skansa reality sold the city two flats from their new housing development for a symbolic price of 10,000 crowns each.