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Kohtla-Järve housing associations not optimistic about renovation funding

Apartment block in Kohtla-Järve.
Apartment block in Kohtla-Järve. Source: Rene Kundla/ERR

Housing associations in Kohtla-Järve are skeptical about the prospect of wide-scale apartment block renovations even though millions of euros of EU funding is being made available under the Just Transition Fund.

Raissa Vares, who manages seven associations in the town in Ida-Viru County, said she has little faith in the scheme, which will be managed by Kredex.

"When you look at the price per square meter of apartments in our region, when you look at the way the banks look at us when they ask for loans when you look at what our salaries are and everything else, you have to analyze all the things in order to decide to renovate, I don't believe in will happen," Vares said.

Residents are concerned banks will not lend to them, but government agency Kredex is ready to help with this.

"Every housing association is certainly afraid of this, but if, for example, a housing association in Ida-Viru County cannot get a loan from a commercial bank, they can turn to Kredex and we will issue them a loan in a sufficient amount," said Jana Toome, Kredex's partner relations manager.

Vares said some apartment blocks need to be demolished rather than renovated.

"If you take the Uue tanäv quarter in Kohtla-Järve, for example, there is no point renovating such old buildings. Instead, they need to be demolished, new houses built, and people moved in," she said.

Approximately €25 million can be used for apartment block renovation in the region. Two rounds of funding open in January and the summer.

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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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