On September 13 ForUm had online conference with the minister of regional development, construction and housing and utility services Anatoly Blyzniuk. In the course of the conference the official answered questions of our readers about housing problems and ways to solve them.

Maryna, Zaporizhia: Good day, Anatoly! Our imperfect legislation brings to nothing all good ideas and solutions of housing problems. Does your Ministry work out and develop some bills to change the situation?

- We have already developed a number of draft bill and submitted them. Part of them have been adopted, another part is still under consideration, while others have been denied for various reasons. However, we do know what to do to solve the problem and we are working on it.

Ihor, pensioner: Good day! Your ministry's name includes 'regional development'. What do you mean by that? What are you developing in regions and what do you plan for the future?

-  Regional policy provides for the development of local government through increase in activity of the communities. Such ideology can change the administrative and territorial structures in the interest of citizens, in particular, the creation of single medical and educational environment. What the community can do by itself, it should do it, and only the issues beyond competence should be transferred to the higher authorities.

Mykola: Analoty, will Social Security beneficiaries get free apartments? I heard the disabled with get 19 apartments this year.

- This year the government has allocated 71 million hrynias of social financing for disabled veterans. The money has been distributed among regions and will be realized by the year end.

Sviltana, Donetsk: Good day! As a native of our region, you should know about problems of small mining towns and villages. Tell us, is there a hope we will live in normal conditions one day - with hot water, heating and roads?

- There is a state program on the development of small towns, but it is being implemented very slowly. I hope and believe that in the medium term, the government will allocate at least twice more funds to solve the problems of small towns.

Claudia: Anatoly, when Kyiv residents will get first apartments on "Affordable housing" program? Are there finished apartment blocks to move in?

- People are already getting the apartments. More than 120 people have already moved in.

Stas: Are you planning to establish individual heating?

- Individual (autonomous) heating in every apartment of a block - no, but a separate boiler-room for an entire apartment block - yes.

Vasyl: Why has not the issue of modernization and demolition of old houses been solved yet? What do you need for this? Laws, money, investors, will?

- Every house has an owner, and according to the law, the owner bears responsibility for his property. I don't think there will repeated privatization of rebuilt housing in the country.

Ilia: Many residential houses in Ukraine require thorough overhaul, even in Kyiv. Will the Ministry launch programs on housing reconstruction? What will you start with?

- We will start with owners, who privatized buildings, and with the state, which must participate in the first thorough overhaul after privatization.

Oleksiy: They keep building and building in Kyiv. There will be no more room soon. But what about small cities? Do you plant to launch affordable housing in regions, and which precisely?

- Constructions for affordable housing program are carried out in those regions, where there is a demand.

Serhiy: Do you consider a program on winterization of housefronts? Now, everybody does as he wants and can, and it makes the city to look ugly. May be you should introduce single requirements? The same concerns the glassing of balconies.

- We are definitely working on this. The budget has allocated 40 million of loans for financing these works.

Natalia: Why do you increase prices for communal services, but do not improve these services? Why cannot we control where our money goes. Nobody reports to residents, but if a resident does not pay, he faces trial. We must have certain mechanisms to check expenses. A new mayor or head of communal services department comes and says the previous one was a thief, and there is no money left, and residents are again a fool for pains.

- You say 'we must have certain mechanism'. But you do have them. Hire a manager to serve the house, to check and control contracts and to pay for accomplished works and services only.

Viktoria: If you happen to look for a dwelling, would you choose an apartment in cheap buildings, Borys Kolesnikov plans to construct?

- Bearing-wall houses of the socialism times consume 300 kilowatt to heat 1 sq m, while bearing-wall houses, built with new technologies, consume not more than 70 kilowatt. You do the math.

Kyryl: Anatoly, what is the situation with half-constructed houses, especially in regions?

- We have considerably reduced the number of half-constructed buildings, and we intend to keep the path.

Oleksandr: The government is considering to use alternative fuel for its boiler-houses. So why don't the Ministry of housing and Ministry of agro-industrial complex finance the projects on installation of boiler-houses, working on baled helm, for example, in schools, kindergartens and facilities of housing department in regions?

- We are working on these projects already. This heating season we will install 250 boiler-houses, which will work on alternative fuel.

Yevhen: For how long can “Khruschev-era” apartments endure. Do you have any projects on demolition and construction of new dwellings?

- Yes, we have certain projects and mechanisms, though they are not perfect. However, according to the legislation, 100% of residents of such houses must agree on reconstruction of their property. Unfortunately, there is not a single house in Ukraine with 100% of residents agreed for relocation.

Teterkin Dmytro: Construction firms are always late to put dwellings in operation. To get compensation through court is very long and complicated. Do you plan to implement some new bills or norms, enabling clients to fine site-developers for violation of agreed terms of putting houses into operation?

- We have worked out a draft bill, providing for a punishment system for default from obligations and a prevention system for similar cases.
Viktoria: How can I learn whether the presidential initiative "Afordable housing" works in Zaporizhia? Do I need to be registered in housing register? Where should I start and where to go? Thank you.

- It is not necessary to join housing register. If you have less than 9 square meters per person or you live in a dorm, you can participate in this program. The details of the Affordable Housing program terms are available on the Ministry's website and can be also explained in the executive committee of the city council.

Olga: How can you name the program "Affordable housing", when there is minimum 25% of the down payment with the salary at 3 thousand hryvnias? Why don't you issue a resolution to sign contracts with banks at 3% interest rate and to create some different mechanisms for 13% of compensations? People risk a lot signing contracts at 16% interest rate. If the state has no money to compensate 13%, the participant will have to pay all 16%, which he cannot afford.

- The Affordable Housing program was revised by the government for three times. Requirements were simplified every time. These conditions are probably not optimal, but provide citizens with practical assistance thanks to socially responsible business and local governments.

All questions I have not answered due to lack of time will be taken into consideration and analyzed. I want to thank you all for your questions and for your readiness to solve our problems together. Good bye.


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