Municipalities Own Just 0.8% of Bulgaria’s Housing Stock


The 32,225 municipal-owned dwellings in Bulgaria represent 0.8% of the national housing stock, and they accommodate 82,240 people or 1.2% of the total population. There are as few as 899 social housing units, located in the territory of 25 municipalities and implemented under Operational Programme Regional Development 2007-2013 and Regions in Growth 2014-2020, Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria and the Ministry of Regional Development and Public Works found in a joint survey of the condition and management of the municipal housing stock, the NGO said on Friday.

Bulgaria lacks an up-to-date national housing strategy and uniform legislation regulating housing accommodation, Habitat pointed out.

The only option available to households in need of housing is to be accommodated in a municipal-owned dwelling under municipal ordinances provided for by the Municipal Property Act. Municipalities provide housing at rents that are a tenth or less than the market rates, and the revenue generated cannot pay for the renovation of the available housing fund and its enlargement. The local authorities, however, are not compensated by central government for providing this service of general economic interest, the organization said.

The survey regarding the quality of the municipal housing accommodation services, conducted online between October and December 2022, covered all 265 municipalities in Bulgaria and the 24 constituent boroughs of Sofia Municipality.

The survey found that 216 municipalities manage a municipal housing stock and 49 do not own any residential property. Of the municipalities with housing stock of their own, 85 of 32% own fewer than 10 municipal dwelling. Sofia Municipality accounts for the largest number of municipal dwellings: 8,917 or 27.7% of the total. As many as 97% of municipal housing in the country are occupied, and there is a 10,085-long-waiting list in 130 municipalities. According to those polled, just 14% of council housing were in excellent condition, nearly 50% were in bad condition, 9% were uninhabitable, and 33% were in need of minor repairs.

Recommendations for improvement of the management of the municipal housing stock were developed on the basis of the analysis of the survey results.

Resource Bulgarian News Agency: Municipalities Own Just 0.8% of Bulgaria’s Housing Stock
Author: Roumen Yanovski