Minister Zvone Černač: ‘’Social housing is one of the core policies that supports families. It also supports growth and strengthening of our nation and its potentials.’’
Minister Zvone Černač attended the opening ceremony of the Youth Community Housing Gerbičeva in Ljubljana at the invitation of the Housing Fund of the Republic of Slovenia.
In his speech, the Minister underlined the importance of adequate, safe and secure housing, saying it was one of the basic preconditions for the young to reach full independence and start a family. The Youth Community Housing Gerbičeva will offer quality housing to 171 young people aged between 18 and 29 after they have completed education. The Minister commented the latest Eurostat figures which show that the share of young Slovenians aged 18-34 years still living with their parents exceeds 60%. ‘’There are many reasons for this. The young often can’t afford the rent, especially in the capital Ljubljana and at the coast, they’re often in precarious work, face income instability and lack of affordable social housing,’’ said the Minister and added that the Slovenian government acknowledged that good living conditions and decent work were the necessary precondition for the young to start a family. ‘’We recently approved the five-year business plan of the Housing Fund of the Republic of Slovenia which foresees a significant boost of the social housing stock, in various ways and for various categories of beneficiaries, especially for the young people.’’
The Minister was pleased to note that the social housing portfolio has grown; the Housing Fund of the Republic of Slovenia currently manages nearly 4,000 units with a further 3,000 units in the pipeline, of which nearly two thirds are located outside the Osrednjeslovenska region. ‘’This adds massively to our decentralisation efforts, to a balanced development of all regions across the country and to ensuring equal opportunities for all, no matter what part of the country they are from,’’ he continued.
Minister Černač stressed that ‘’the government recognises the importance of social housing as one of the policies that supports families, and in turn, growth and strengthening of our nation and its potentials,’’ and went on to highlight that a series of decisions had been made to promote social housing and ensure affordable housing for all. In this context, he mentioned the amended housing act, support to social housing through concrete projects envisaged in the national Recovery and Resilience Plan and tax reform which, if adopted, would foresee a considerable tax reduction on property rental income. According to the Minister, the latter is especially important, as the reduced and reasonable taxation will gradually help eradicate grey market and establish a transparent rental housing market, increase supply and curb prices where they are too high.
The Minister also praised the sustainability-oriented and forward-thinking nature of the building of the Youth Community Housing, saying that ‘’Slovenia is committed to pursuing Sustainable Development Goals in all areas; it comes as no surprise that, this year, our country ranked 9th among 165 countries in terms of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. We sometimes jokingly say that Slovenia could be the next Switzerland. At least in this regard we did better than Switzerland which ranked 16th.’’
Minister Černač concluded his remarks by reassuring the country would continue to work to provide further appropriate, affordable and quality housing solutions for young people who embark on the path to independence after they complete education or decide to start a family. He congratulated the Director of the Housing Fund of the Republic of Slovenia and his team, the designers, the engineers and the contractors involved in the implementation of the pilot project of youth community housing and the young who will find a new home in the building. ‘’Our job doesn’t end here, though. We’ll have to make sure that we give these young people an opportunity to live somewhere else, once they decide to leave,’’ wrapped up the Minister.