The City of Prague has undertaken an inventory of its housing fund and the apartments it owns.
The analysis showed that the city, along with the city districts, manages over 31,000 apartments. Of these 31,000 municipal dwellings, nearly 8% are currently unoccupied. The analysis also showed that the municipal housing fund in Prague is relatively small compared to other cities.
For the first time ever, complete data was obtained on the city’s housing stock in all 57 municipal districts through an initiative led by the City Councillor for Housing, Adam Zábranský. An analysis by the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR) showed that out of a total of 31,456 municipal apartments, 2,409 are unoccupied. Many of these empty apartments are in poor condition and would require renovation before they could be rented. Only 266 apartments are currently ready for tenants to move in without renovations.
“Apartments that have not been repaired, regardless of whether they are managed by the city districts, need to be improved as soon as possible. The Affordable Housing Fund has 500 million crowns in subsidies for reconstruction, and we can offer another 500 million to city districts as interest-free loans,” said Adam Zábranský.
“It is good that we are focusing on all the possible causes of Prague’s housing shortage. Nonetheless, the greatest challenge now is to make sure that Prague residents aren’t forced to look for housing outside the city limits because of the present situation,” explained First Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček.
Municipal apartments account for 5 % of all apartments in Prague. Vienna, Copenhagen, and Zurich have fewer than 10 residents for each municipal apartment. Prague currently has 42 residents for each municipal apartment, a figure similar to Budapest. An even more extreme situation is found in Bratislava, which has 217 residents for each municipal apartment.
“In addition to increasing the number of municipal apartments, Prague needs to accelerate the construction permit process and open brownfields to development. If we can address these issues, we will start seeing more affordable apartments that the city so urgently needs,” concluded IPR Director Ondřej Boháč.