Promotion of affordable housing has been and will be the most important priority in the housing policy implemented by the Ministry of Economics. The Soviet-era multi-apartment housing in Latvia is rapidly deteriorating, therefore, new solutions to this problem are being created. For ten years already, we have been providing people with opportunity to renovate apartment buildings using significant EU funds support. Altum housing guarantee support program has also been active for three years now. This year, after years of discussions, we have succeeded to reach an agreement on the bill for a new Law on Residential Tenancy, and the new Saeima will continue work on it.
On October 2, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers conceptually supported the proposal of the Ministry of Economics to create an unprecedented support program for municipalities for the construction of tenements buildings. It is anticipated that within the framework of the program the local government corporations will be able to receive long-term loans for the construction of multi-apartment residential buildings in the regions. The loans will be provided by the Treasury for a term of 30 years, with the possibility of setting a fixed the interest rate for 5, 10 or 30 years. It is planned that in the next two weeks, the Ministry of Economics will prepare a draft Cabinet regulation with detailed conditions for the proposal.
"The support program will provide an immediate solution for recruiting new employees in cities and regions where economic activity is growing and new jobs are emerging. It will provide significantly lower rental costs for a tenant and will provide a new mobility opportunity for low or middle-income workforce. Ensuring the availability of housing for the widest possible range of people will encourage residents to seek job opportunities in the most economically active cities of Latvia rather than migrating out of the country. Likewise, the program will promote the return of the emigrants from Latvia to the country by offering affordable and modern quality housing in the regions where new jobs are created,” emphasizes Arvils Ašeradens, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economics.
Housing is one of the factors affecting many areas of life - mobility, accessibility of the workplace, education, medical care, and social services. All of the above has a significant impact on the level of welfare and satisfaction of the population. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has also pointed out that it is precisely satisfaction with housing, income and welfare in Latvia is significantly lower than in other Member States of the organization. Consequently, one of the recommendations for Latvia in the OECD study is the need to promote access to housing, especially in towns where new jobs are created.