Support development of multifamily housing sector through empowering Condominium Associations
Even more than 20 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the legacy of the Soviet system of multifamily housing has not yet been discarded. In Tajikistan the multifamily housing sector is deteriorated and poorly maintained, buildings are energy inefficient, and apartment owners still lack full decision-making or control over their buildings. Before the breakup of the Soviet Union, virtually all multifamily buildings, both apartments and common areas, were state-owned and the maintenance of the buildings was carried out by the state housing maintenance organizations and residents paid for communal services highly subsidized cost.
After the breakup and mass privatization, and even to this day, a lack of understanding prevails about who has responsibility over common areas such as the stairwells, the hallways, the roof, the heating and electrical systems, the lifts—all the common elements of the building that affect its comfort, convenience, and value. As a result due to confusion and mistrust, combined with low level of homeowners’ income to handle the cost burdens of maintenance and lack of government support program and mechanisms as well as undeveloped private sector of housing maintenance services, majority of apartment blocks, around 70%, are in poor condition with leaky roofs, malfunctioning elevators, dangerous wiring, deteriorating water and sanitation system and poor energy efficiency.
The 2009 Law on Condominiums introduced the institution of condominium associations (CAs), and a framework for housing management that supposed to push out the old system of state-owned housing and establish private management and maintenance and overall improvement. However, the role of this institution remains limited; only less than 10% of the condominiums in country had established homeowners’ associations by 2016. There are number of obstacles why haven’t CAs gained traction and become a force of change in the multifamily housing sector. Following are among main reasons: low level of awareness of population about CAs advantages; and lack of government programs and incentives to promote and provide institutional and financial support to CAs.
HFHT intends to address this problem using multi-tier approach, working both at community, government and market level. Through awareness raising and capacity building HFHT will help to form new condominium associations as well as empower existing ones. In collaboration with city government comprehensive state program will be developed and approved to support the development of condominium associations. Through advocacy efforts in close collaboration with city government regulations on the provision of supportive financial mechanisms, government funds, subsidies and grants will be developed to support organization and operation of condominium associations especially at early stage. HFHT will stimulate sector of private management and maintenance services through conducting value chain analyses of the sector and piloting market based solutions with identified lead firms.
The launch of the project is planned in 2018 and for the first two years the project objective is to improve housing condition of population in multifamily housing sector in Dushanbe city through forming and empowering 80 condominium associations (CAs) to take ownership on decision making and control over their building, providing institutional support, stimulating private service sector and raising the priority of multifamily housing on the national development agenda.