The government will launch a “Flat+” programme

Poles have not quite got used to the much talked about “500+” child benefit programme yet, as the government surprised everyone with yet another social initiative. The state is to get heavily involved in creating housing for the average Mr and Mrs Kowalski. The new scheme is called “Flat+”.

Housing in Poland is expensive. According to the Central Statistical Office, statistically a Polish person spends one fifth of their income on housing and energy bills. Still, most flats on the market are owned, not rented. The state wants to change that.

The rental market is not very developed and rent prices are high. Housing regulations are rather unfavourable to the landlords, so renting housing is not an attractive business.

The government wants housing to be available to everyone. As the Prime Minister announced, the state is preparing a complex programme that will comprise of three domains: building flats for rent, support for council housing, and saving incentives.

The flats are to be built on the land in possession of the State Treasury. Rent prices are to be lower than the market prices, but will vary depending on the location. The rent, according to the officials, will be in the range of 10-20 PLN per square meter.

Previous Polish governments tacked the housing problem by assisting people in paying off their mortgage. However, in order to benefit, one needed to have good credit score and get a mortgage in the first place. The “Flat+” programme, on the other hand, is intended for people who are not able to round up enough money to think of buying real estate.

Beata Szydło said that the government’s intention was to make housing available to those with low income. Special treatment will be offered to families with three or more children. They will be in a privileged position to apply for a flat. In her vies, the scheme is the first complex solution to the housing problem Poland has.

The officials did not reveal how the programme will be financed. All that was said, is that it will be based on reals estate in possession of the State Treasury, such as land owned by the Polish State Railways. It is not yet known how much the whole initiative will cost.

Kazimierz Smoliński, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, said the programme will span 10 – 15 years. Deputy Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki estimates the number of flats needed to meet the housing needs of Poles at 1 million.