The Prague City Council is currently working on developing new regulations for the rental of municipal flats.
According to Deputy Mayor for Housing, Alexandra Udženija (ODS), the goal is to improve the assessment of applicants.
The draft rules, which have recently been discussed by the council’s housing committee, have faced criticism from the Platform for Social Housing in an open letter. The opposition party, Prague Together (Praha sobě), is also against the proposed regulations.
Prague owns approximately 7,000 flats, with an additional 23,000 managed by the city districts, each with their own leasing policies, according to a previous analysis.
Udženija mentioned that the rules for the municipal fund have undergone several changes in recent years, and the new regulations aim to bring stability to the process of allocating apartments. The new system is designed to prioritize professionalism in the allocation process, provide long-term benefits for tenants, and ensure transparency in the rules.
However, the NGO Platform for Social Housing opposes the new draft rules and has submitted an open letter to the city administration requesting a review. According to the organization, eliminating the scoring system would be a mistake as it ensures objectivity, transparency, and helps prevent corruption in decision-making.
The letter argues that the proposed rules would undermine the role of council flats as a safety net for households that do not meet the criteria of individual districts.
One major concern highlighted by the platform is the requirement that only individuals with a currently valid lease or sublease agreement would be eligible to apply for the apartments.
The platform also takes issue with the requirement of having permanent residence in the metropolis for at least five years. According to the organization, many people without long-term secure housing have been residing in Prague for extended periods without changing their permanent residence.
Furthermore, the limitation of renting flats to people in social distress for a maximum period of four years and the exclusion of applicants in foreclosure and insolvency are seen as problematic.
The opposition party, Praha Sobě, has also criticized the proposed changes. Jan Čižinský, the party’s leader, stated, “In addition to abandoning the transparent points system, which allows for objective comparisons among applicants, the proposed system eliminates any control over the distribution of public housing. Social policy cannot realistically be carried out without access to housing.”
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