The global financial crisis of 2008 led to more inequality in the UNECE region. The past two decades have witnessed a general trend towards increasing home ownership. According to the Habitat III Regional Report on Housing and Urban Development for the UNECE Region (2016), many local governments and individuals (especially home owners) were unable to keep up with the rapid rate of privatisation of housing. In the eastern part of the region, the phenomenon of low-income homeowners has therefore become endemic, as a result of the privatization of public housing, lack of maintenance, and rising energy costs. Delays caused by collective decision-making of large housing estate owners, whether in affluent or poor areas, have increased costs and often resulted in the deterioration of apartment blocks, particularly in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The housing sector needs to respond to these changes by securing new sites for housing and meeting new aspirations, such as energy efficiency and customer-adjusted design, along with the provision of additional services (e.g. for elderly, homeless and migrant people).
In 2017, member States requested an update to the UNECE “Guidelines on Condominium Ownership of Housing for Countries in Transition” developed by the Committee on Housing and Land Management. The Guidelines were initially published in 2003 to support better management of housing and to promote its affordability and energy efficiency. The Guidelines were developed to assist national and local governments, as well as new homeowners, during the transition of housing to private ownership in Central and Eastern European countries after the collapse of the Soviet Union. This document provided guidance on issues requiring legal-regulatory intervention, capacity building, and design of financing schemes and best practices on condominium management and ownership.
The new edition of the Guidelines, which were prepared during 2017-2018 by the Committee’s Bureau and Real Estate Market Advisory Group, was launched today. It builds upon the previous Guidelines and expand the scope to address contemporary challenges and reflect the commitments of the whole region. Application of the Guidelines will support governments’ efforts in cost-efficient maintenance and operation of the housing stock, and to increase energy efficiency of buildings. This process leads the way to more effective implementation of the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing adopted by UNECE in 2015 and its goal of ensuring access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all.
The Guidelines are available at: http://www.unece.org/DAM/hlm/sessions/docs2018/Info_doc_3_Condo_Guidelines.pdf
For more information, please visit: https://www.unece.org/housing/committee79thsession.html
Gulnara Roll, Head, Housing and Land Management Unit
Forests, Land and Housing Division
Telephone: +41 (0)22 917 5793