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Results of the Questionnaire Survey in the Developments of the Municipal Housing Stock of Selected Towns (2001, 2002)

by Jaroslav Kubečka and Blanka Burdová; Ministry of Regional Development
Dana Chlupová, Marie Polešáková and Ludmila Rohrerová; Institute for Spatial Development

In 2003, the Brno Institute for Spatial Development carried out the 4th questionnaire survey on the development of municipal housing stocks, collecting and upgrading the necessary data and information in selected towns and cities of the Czech Republic. Based on the requirements of the assignor — the Czech Ministry of Regional Development — this year’s research has comprised 7 more towns, all in the category of a population under 10,000, which were added to those taken into consideration by the 76/1993 notice of the Ministry of Finance on rents. So, addressed was the capital plus some of its districts, the 19 statutory cities, and 30 towns — see the Map of Addressed Towns. Same as in previous years, the questionnaire survey was aimed at the exploration of data which are usually not explored by the Czech Statistic Office: privatization of the municipal housing stock; shifts within the municipal housing stock; payments for the usage of such stock; maintenance costs of the municipal housing stock; and additional data.

As additional data, items related to housing were added, such as the filling system of the demand for municipal dwellings and the criteria of allowance, the approach to rent debtors and the means of decreasing their debts, the approach to the homeless, the participation of the private sector in the financing of new municipal dwellings, and the construction of unsubsidized new municipal dwellings. Also, the respondents could indicate their recommendations as to what the questionnaire should be aimed at next year.

In active participation of the responding municipalities, the research has surveyed a total of 331,690 dwellings, which represents 8.7 % of 3,828,912 dwellings of permanent inhabitation in the Czech Republic, and 49.1 % of 675,000 municipal dwellings in the country.

The main objective of the research was to investigate in the results of the ongoing privatization of municipal dwellings, as started in 1991.


Municipal housing stock privatization in selected towns

The development of the privatization, started with the transfer of the housing stock from the State to municipalities in 1991, is shown in Diagram 1, Development of municipal housing stock privatization in selected towns, 1991–2002.

The Diagram indicates that 39.5 % of all the dwellings transferred to the ownership of municipalities were privatized before the end of 2000, 45.2 % before the end of 2001, and 51.2 % before the end of 2002.

The development of the total numbers of municipal dwellings (including those newly built) in the towns under observation between 1991 and 2002, and the supposed situation after the termination of the privatization, is shown in Diagram 2, Development of total number of municipal dwellings (including recent constructions) between 1991 and 2002, and the supposed situation after the privatization of the municipal housing stock.

The percentage of the dwellings which municipalities intend to keep in their ownership is related to the overall number of dwellings transferred from the State to municipalities in 1991.


Diagram 1
Diagram 1

Data on privatization process in Prague and Ústí nad Labem related to selected city districts only.

Diagram 2
Diagram 2

Estimated share after privatization as in 2010, this being the latest term mentioned by respondents.
Data on privatization process in Prague and Ústí nad Labem related to selected city districts only.


New constructions

Of the total number of municipal dwellings constructed between the end of 1991 and the end of 2002, 42.4 % were built before the end of 1999, 27.7 % during 2000, 17.0 % during 2001, and 12.9 % during 2002.

The structure of the newly built municipal dwellings is shown in Chart 1, Structure of newly constructed municipal dwellings, completed in 2001 and 2002.


Chart 1
% share of newly constructed municipal dwellings, completed in 2001% share of newly constructed municipal dwellings, completed in 2002
in newly constructed buildingsin previously completed buildingsin newly constructed buildingsin previously completed buildings
Prague85158317
Brno27731486
Ostrava35652476
Ústí nad Labem010000
Plzeň56440100
Towns populated 50,000 to 99,99986147129
Towns populated 10,000 to 49,99989117426
Towns populated under 10,00059419010
Average72286634

Development of the total of municipal dwellings between 1991 and 2002

Between the end of 1991 and the end of 2000, the total number of municipal dwellings decreased by 37.6 %, to the end of 2001, by 43.2 %, and to the end of 2002, by 48.8 % of the total of municipal dwellings. In the course of 2001, there was a decrease of 9 % in relation to 2000. During 2002, there was a decrease of 9.9 % in relation to 2001.

The estimated termination of the privatization of municipal dwellings

Most respondents have supposed to finish the privatization of municipal dwellings in 2003 and 2004. The latest of the mentioned terms was 2010. Some respondents have not mentioned any assumption or have not had deadlines. Six respondents had terminated the privatization before the survey, i.e. the towns of Kdyně (1997), Třebíč (1998), Most (2000), Tišnov (2000), Dačice (2001) and the Prague’s district of Horní Počernice (2002). Privatization has reached a very advanced stage in Ústí nad Labem where 79 % have been privatized since the 1991 transfer. Socially handicapped families are living in the flats which have not yet been privatized, which might be in relation to the high numbers of debtors in municipal flats. Two of Ústí’s quarters have said the sale of flats was completely or almost finished.

Share of municipal dwellings

The comparison of the numbers of municipal dwellings and the total of dwellings, as given by the censuses of 1991 and 2001, is shown in Diagram 3, Share of municipal dwellings in selected towns in 1991, 2001, and 2002.

The share of municipal dwellings is gradually decreasing. In 1991, 39.1 % of all dwellings were municipal. In 2000, it was 24.1 %, in 2001, 19.8 %, and in 2002, 17.6 %.


Diagram 3
Diagram 3

Municipal dwellings in 1991 compared to total dwellings as per Census 1991.
Municipal dwellings in 2001, 2002 compared to total dwellings as per Census 2001.


Numbers of dwellings the municipalities intend to keep in their ownership

The percentage of dwellings the municipalities intend to hold in their ownership, in relation to those transferred in 1991, is 29.5 %. In relation to the total number of municipal dwellings, including new constructions, at the end of 2002, this share is 58.3 %.

General comments on the results of the municipal housing stock privatization

  • In most towns, there was demand for the privatization of the housing stock, sometimes very largely so. It is only the city of Ostrava where indifference prevails. Where privatization is rather unwanted is the town of Hodonín and the Ostrava’s district of Stará Bělá.
  • Mostly used as technical documentation in the process of housing stock privatization is the house passport and the revision reports (such as for electricity, elevators, heating units, fire protection, and so on). If available, the planning documentation of the building is used, too.
  • Technical conditions of the house seldom make difference in the statements of the municipalities. Two city districts of Ostrava and the town of Havířov say that they privatized buildings in good technical conditions, while the town of Svitavy, in good technical conditions after reconstruction.
  • The respondents’ answers indicate that if the tenants show lack of demand for the municipal flat or house they live in, such dwellings are often offered and sold to third parties.
The outlook of the housing policy
  • The city of Prague has designed and acclaimed the Concept of the housing policy for 2000 and the oncoming period (1999 - 2005).
  • The city of Brno has designed and acclaimed its Housing strategy for 2001–2011.
  • The city of Ostrava is now designing its Concept of the housing policy.
  • The districts of Ústí nad Labem have not elaborated any concept of the housing policy nor is any being elaborated.
  • The city of Plzeň have designed its Amendment and new directions of the housing policy, in vigour since 1999.
  • Of smaller towns, 31 % have designed and acclaimed their housing concepts or other documents, independent or as parts of other documents. 18 % are working on such documents, 40 % are not preparing any document of such kind, and 11 % respondents have not answered the question.

Results from the viewpoint of shifts within the housing stock, of payments for the usage of the stock, and of maintenance, in selected towns


The results of the research of the shifts within the stock show that the situations in larger cities and in smaller towns do not differ very much. The movements are rather insignificant, at an average of below 3 % of the total number of municipal dwellings. Such situation may be considered similar in the whole country.

  • The average number of households which exchanged their municipal apartment was 1.8 % of the total of municipal dwellings in 2001, and 1.7 % in 2002.
  • The average number of rent transfers of municipal flats was 2.0 % of the total of municipal dwellings in 2001, and 1.9 % in 2002.
  • The average number of newly allowed municipal apartments in new, vacant, or cleared dwellings was 2.5 % of the total of municipal dwellings in 2001, and 2.7 % in 2002.
  • The average number of legally evicted apartments by 31 December 2001 was 0.9 % of the total of municipal dwellings, and 1.0 % by 31 December 2002.
  • The average number of legal notices to quit the apartment was 1.0 % of the total of municipal dwellings in 2001, and 1.5 % in 2002. Legal executions due to debts in rentals and/or services were at tenths of percent (0.3 to 0.5) of the total number of municipal dwellings.
  • The development of the number of debtors in rentals and/or services in 1998 to 2002 is shown in Diagram 4, Share of debtors in rentals and/or services in relation to the total of municipal dwellings in selected towns, 1998–2002. The Diagram indicates that the numbers of debtors oscillate between 20 and 30 %, significantly different being the city of Ústí nad Labem (60 to 75 %) due to its high unemployment rate and the high percentage of socially handicapped families. Other towns indicate that the number of debtors is decreasing proportionally with the size of the town.

The share of debtors in relation to the overall number of apartments, as by 31 December 2001, is shown in Diagram 5, Share of debtors in rentals and/or services in relation to the total of municipal dwellings in selected towns, on 31 December 2001. Such share as by 31 December 2002 is shown in Diagram 6, Share of debtors in rentals and/or services in relation to the total of municipal dwellings in selected towns, on 31 December 2002.

Diagram 4
Diagram 4

Data on debtors in the cities of Prague, Brno, Ostrava, and Ústí nad Labem related to selected city districts only.

Diagram 5
Diagram 5


Diagram 6
Diagram 6

Data of municipal dwellings and debtors in the cities of Prague, Brno, Ostrava, and Ústí nad Labem related to selected city districts only.
Data of total dwellings as per Census on 1 March 2001.

  • The numbers of debtors (in rentals and/or services) who owed payments only for the months of November and December of respective years are between 5 and 10 percent of the total number of municipal dwellings. There was a higher percentage of them in Plzeň (13.8, 2001), Prague (12.9, 2002) and Ústí nad Labem (15 %, both years). Other towns indicate that the number of debtors for the months of November and December is decreasing proportionally with the size of the town.
  • The average net rental per dwelling was of Kč 1,364 a month in 2001 and Kč 1,466 a month in 2002.
  • The average monthly payment for services per dwelling was Kč 1,404 in 2001 and Kč 1,431 in 2002.
  • So, the average monthly payment for the usage of a municipal apartment was of Kč 2,768 in 2001 and Kč 2,898 in 2002.
    The 2002 payments for both the net rental and the services were higher than those of 2001.
  • The average debt on the net rental was Kč 2,169 on 31 December 2001 and Kč 3,074 on 31 December 2002.
  • The average debt on services was Kč 1,483 on 31 December 2001 and Kč 1,967 on 31 December 2002.
  • So, the average debt on the usage of a municipal apartment was Kč 3,651 on 31 December 2001 and Kč 5,040 on 31 December 2002.
    The 2002 debts on both the net rental and the services were higher than those of 2001.
  • The percentages of municipal dwellings for which the maximum basic rent (as determined by the Ministry of Finance), the objectively controlled rent, or the contractual rent are applied, is shown in Diagrams 7, Municipal dwellings by types of applied rental, 2001, and 8, Municipal dwellings by types of applied rental, 2002.
    These Diagrams indicate that the share of objectively controlled and contractual rents is increasing, while the share of the maximum basic monthly rent is decreasing.
    The share of the dwellings with the maximum basic monthly rent in the towns under observation was 96.7 % in 2001 and 95.9 % in 2002. The share of the objectively controlled rent was 1.3 % in 2001 and 1.6 % in 2002. Significantly higher is the share of this type for towns populated under 10,000: 12.1 % in 2001 and 17.4 % in 2002. The share of contractual rent was 2.1 % in 2001 and 2.6 % in 2002. Again, the highest share of the contractual rent was in the category of towns populated under 10,000: 4.5 % in 2001 and 7.3 % in 2002.
Diagram 7
Diagram 7


Diagram 8
Diagram 8

  • The average monthly costs of the maintenance of a municipal dwelling through a caretaker were of Kč 150 in 2001 and Kč 164 in 2002. The average costs for dwellings maintained directly by the municipality were of Kč 105 in 2001 and Kč 112 in 2002. The maintenance costs are rising, much cheaper for the municipality being to carry out the maintenance through its own workers than through caretakers.
  • Both the average costs of the maintenance and the income through rents have increased in 2002. However, the average maintenance costs are lower than the average income through the rent. This suggests that there are places where the income is sufficient to cover at least some basic repairs of the housing stock. Also, there is probably some connection to the fact that many a municipality tries to get rid of the buildings in poor conditions.

The issues of municipal housing have been monitored through questionnaire surveys since 2000, when data for 1998 and 1999 were examined. The 2001 survey explored the data of 1999 and 2000, the 2002 survey did so for 2000 and 2001, and the last survey was focused on the situation in 2001 and 2002.

The research of the developments in the privatization of the municipal housing stock offers the comparison of the dynamics of this process between its beginnings in 1991 and today, giving estimations of its prospects and offering information on its future timing. The results of the research represent a valuable basis for the job of the Ministry of Regional Development’s Housing Policy Department.

Printed versions of the final report of the questionnaire survey are available at the Housing Policy Department of the Ministry of Regional Development and at the Brno Institute for Spatial Development. The results of the 2003 research of the developments in municipal housing stocks in 2001 and 2002 are available at the Institute’s web site (www.uur.cz).

Following the requirements of the Ministry of Regional Development, the survey will be repeated at the beginning of 2004. Probably the same towns and cities will be addressed and the same or alike questions will be asked. Yet the experience of the previous surveys should be used to better word the questions.

The research is considered part of the continuous tasks of the Institute for Spatial Development. As such, the results of such annually repeated research are widely used by housing policy makers.

The assignor of the task — the Housing Policy Department of the Ministry of Regional Development — and the researching staff of the Institute for Spatial Development thank all respondents for their collaborative approach and for the information they contributed to the final report with, helping thus make a coherent picture of the situation of the municipal housing stock in the Czech Republic.

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