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A view of Prague, Source: Freepik

Survey: two-thirds of Czechs delay starting a family due to housing shortages

Survey: two-thirds of Czechs delay starting a family due to housing shortages

Prague reveals the worrying data but also suggests some solutions

The lack of affordable housing in Czechia is changing significantly the plans for the future for Czech citizens. In particular, an Ipsos survey, ordered by the City of Prague reveals that over two-thirds of the population in big cities postpone starting a family, due to housing uncertainty. Moreover, as much as 40% of the population reportedly considers moving away from big cities to escape the housing crisis.

Unavailability of housing deters Czechs from starting a family

On 1 June, at a conference, dedicated to affordable housing, the Municipality of Prague presented the results of a survey, conducted in May 2022 among respondents living in cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants. The survey has two main worrisome findings.

First, that over one-third of the population anticipate that they will have to move out of the city due to the unavailability of housing. Second, that the housing crisis is increasingly leading to the postponement of starting a family.

The city website summarizes that for 81% of Czechs, the unavailability of housing is an obstacle to raising a child, while 69% of respondents have said that they would postpone starting a family due to unavailable housing.

Problems and solutions to the lack of housing alternatives

Another interesting angle of the research is who and how should solve the problem. As far as citizens are concerned, 75% of them think that municipalities should provide housing, and not only to the most disadvantaged but also to mid-income families.

This was yet another reason for Prague to justify the local Affordable Cooperative Housing project (DDB) which aims to improve the housing situation in the Czech capital. The pilot project is for the Prague 5 district on Radlická Street. Said initiative is intended primarily for the middle-income group and will reportedly allow citizens to lower housing costs by up to one-third.

The aim of the Affordable Cooperative Housing project is to offer cheaper flats in cooperation between the city and the private sector. The city will provide the land while the cooperative developers will get lower margins for the construction. In the end, the city reports that the final price of housing will fall by up to 30% compared to the market price.

As the project website clarifies, cooperatives are able to build apartments at a significantly lower cost than a commercial developer because they are not established to generate profit. Individual cooperatives pay only the net cost rent - only the costs of the construction, administration and operation of their apartment.

The project is meant to support some groups who do not own housing properties, such as firefighters, teachers, seniors, young families or socially disadvantaged families.

The city will establish a so-called building right for the cooperative for up to 99 years. The cooperative then has the option to repurchase the land from the capital city of Prague after repaying the construction loan.

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