Better Housing in Vračar
Poor management and maintenance of residential buildings in condominium ownership present one of the most severe consequences of the privatization of public housing stock in Serbia and the countries of post-socialist transformation. The Housing Fund, as the largest capital of individuals and the state, continually deteriorates. The same effect could be expected for the fund of newly built residential buildings, if the system of management and maintenance is not fundamentally reformed.
Basic issues in this field, observed in transition countries, including Serbia, are as follows:
- the lack of adequate and complete legal framework and the lack of regulated relations between the flat owners, their rights and obligations;
- the blurring of special and common physical parts of the building (usurpation of the common parts of buildings), as well as of property rights between private and public owners;
- socialist legacy and the lack of awareness of the obligations and responsibilities of citizens for the common parts of the building;
- unsustainable voluntary engagement of current presidents of assemblies /councils of tenants, inadequate management and administration of building maintenance, and dissatisfaction of owners – the lack of professional management;
- low level of investments in regular and emergency maintenance and the lack of funds for emergency maintenance;
- non-existence of financial mechanisms to support maintenance;
- underdeveloped market of buildings maintenance and management;
- underdeveloped cooperation between the private and public sector.
Today, it is evident that this problem is very pronounced at the local level, and as such has been recognized and included as a strategic priority in most of the existing urban housing strategies in Serbia (five of nine). There is no doubt that the role of cities and municipalities in solving this problem and, generally, in improving the management and maintenance of residential buildings in condominium ownership is of great importance.
Comprehensive reform and improvement of the management and maintenance of residential buildings in condominium ownership would directly make benefits for the owners of apartments, local authorities and the state, but also for economic development, through activating economic sectors (renovation and modernization of existing housing stock). As part of the process of reforming the system of buildings management and maintenance, the most complex task is to change awareness of apartment owners and raise the level of responsibility for their legal rights and obligations.
Draft Law on Housing and Maintenance of Buildings introduces new concepts in the area of housing, condominium ownership, and maintenance of residential buildings. Professionalization in management, through the engagement of a professional administrator in buildings of more than 30 flats, mandatory allocations of funds for maintenance and investments, as well as introduction of fees for the administrator, enforced collection, and obligation to register residential community are some of the most important novelties of the current Draft law.
The initiative "Better Housing in Vracar" is implemented within the Project "Improvement of Service Delivery at the Local Level", which is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Belgrade Municipality of Vracar. The initiative "Better Housing in Vracar" aims to contribute to the improvement of housing, management and maintenance of residential buildings in the Belgrade Municipality of Vračar.
The initiative is jointly implemented by the Belgrade Municipality of Vracar and OPTIMUS - Center for Good Governance.
Specific objectives of the project intervention are as follows:
I. Improving communication and cooperation with the representatives of the Municipality of Vračar and strengthening citizen participation;
II. Contributing to improvement of the regulatory framework in the area of housing and better buildings management;
III. Raising awareness of representatives of assemblies/councils of tenants on the residential buildings management.
1. Preparing the questionnaire for the Survey of presidents of residential buildings assemblies/councils of tenants in the Municipality of Vračar;
2. Organizing 4 workshops in order to perform the Survey of presidents of residential buildings assemblies/councils of tenants in the Municipality of Vračar;
3. Analyzing completed questionnaires and identifying proposals for improvement;
4. Preparing the draft Report, including the results of the Survey and recommendations for improvement;
5. Public presentation of the draft Report, with recommendations for improvement;
6. Finalizing the Report and sending the recommendations for improving the regulatory framework to relevant national bodies.
You can find more information in the Report on Results of the Survey of Presidents of Assemblies and Councils of Tenants from the Belgrade Municipality of Vračar