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Public (rental) housing, management and maintenance

Who dares to take the risk to cater for underprivileged people? Kees Elgershuizen Robin Comanne

Serving local needs with global experience • global experience in developing and improving public housing, adapted to local needs in developing countries • since 1997 • providing knowledge and experience to organisations that are willing to build, improve, manage and maintain • work for governments, housing associations, socially responsible companies and development organizations

Serving local needs with global experience • Everyone has the right to a decent home • It is key to health, work and education • It enables people to participate in society

• In 4 continents, 18 countries

Who dares to… • run the risk to cater for underprivileged people? • commercial sector: people who can afford property • developers run minor risk and receive the profits • hardly any rental stock

• What if…?

What if… • well managed non-profit organisations pick up task to provide quality (rental) housing:  for an affordable price?  for underprivileged people?

• these non-profit organisations also cater for target groups with a higher income? • the profits thus made would be cross-subsidised?

Affordability Income

Rent (price)


Financial sustainability

Government controls and facilitates (decree) Key tasks non-profit organisations: 1. Prioritisation of appropriate accommodation for target group (low income earners priority in allocation inexpensive dwellings) 2. Qualitative upkeep housing stock (maintenance, refurbishment) 3. Involvement of tenants (management and new stock) 4. Financial continuity 5. Contribution to quality of life in neighbourhoods

Every year annual report

What if… (2) • national government would support these non-profit organisations:  with subsidies or  with below market interest rates? •   

local government would: make land available at a nominal fee or for free? provide infrastructure?

What if… (3) • these non-profit organisations would also provide services for condominiums owners? • the law or Housing Act would oblige and/or encourage condominiums to organise themselves concerning:  maintenance communal parts of the building?  energy savings (subsidy)?

What if… (4) • the non-profit organisations would:  become the Robin Hoods of Romania?  cross-subsidise profits made at condominiums and higher income target groups?

What if… (5) • …this was not a fairytale? • Share of non-profit organisations that work according to this principle in the European Union: Netherlands 36%, Belgium 7%, France 18%, Ireland 9%, Denmark 19% … • “This Dutchman does not have a clue of what is going on in Romania!” • “Is he nuts?” • “Have you studied the situation of our economy?” • “This would never work in our country!”

This is not a fairytale! • Think beyond the horizon • Think beyond this economic crisis • Look around you • Some examples…

Examples • Human Development Index: (from the Human Development Report 2007/2008)

 Romania: 60 (out of 177 countries)  Nicaragua: 110  Moldova: 113  South Africa: 121

Examples Nicaragua: National government has recently decided to organise for housing initiatives for underprivileged people: ďƒ˜ to provide 10% government subsidy ďƒ˜ interest rates below market rates via commercial banks

Examples Moldova: • Non-profit organisation has refurbished a building, sold apartments to a higher income target group and crosssubsidised the profit to provide quality rental housing for underprivileged people

Examples South Africa: • After the first initiatives for public rental housing the government decided to allocate 50% of the annual housing budget to provide subsidy to:  non-profit public housing organisations  rental projects for underprivileged people (grown from 15% to 40% in the last ten years)  provides below market interest rates for non-profit public housing organisations

Romania - Bacau Possible examples of public housing in Romania: • Asociatia Betania in Bacau has strong interest in implementing international examples of public housing applicable in Romania (cooperation with Dutch parties) • Woonbron + Hal Habitat

• Fairytales are not the reality so … let’s change Romanian reality in a better situation for the underprivileged.

Thank you for your attention!

Public housing, management and maintenance  

Public housing, management and maintenance