Implementation of housing development plan deemed a failure
The final report on the implementation of the Estonian Housing Sector Development Plan 2008-2013, delivered to the Cabinet on Thursday, noted that many of the aims were not achieved.
Economic Affairs Minister Urve Palo said at a press conference: "For instance, there was a plan to chart the situation in the rental sector, build 6,700 new rental apartments, start knocking down the empty buildings. None of these things were done."
As to positive aspects, she highlighted the green investment scheme "Support for renovation of apartment buildings" offered by KredEx. KredEx granted loans to 670 apartment buildings, yet the targets were many times higher: 8,000 buildings by the end of 2013.
The plan to help large families improve their living conditions had a similar outcome: aid was given to 1,818 families, when the target was 7,900.
"It's a matter of fact that the development plan was put together during the economic boom. It is understandable that it had to undergo adjustments due to the crises. However, that the reality in the housing development sector was practically brought to zero compared to the set targets, must have been a conscious, political decision. The sector was simply deemed unimportant," Palo said, putting the fiasco down to the mistakes of the previous cabinets.
"The fact that our housing is aging so rapidly - 2,000 new houses are built each year, whereas 6,000 depreciate - means that we have to move on with much greater intensity," she added.