Commentary to Decree No. 563 “Concerning legal regulation of the housing industry”

    President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko has signed Decree No. 563 “Concerning legal regulation of the housing industry” which provides for the formation of the commercial housing stock (rented housing) by means of turning public housing into rented housing.

    In accordance with the decree, the composition of the public housing stock will be changed due to the transfer of company-owned housing, special housing and some social apartments to the rented housing stock.

    Before 1 April 2014 occupied company-owned apartments and special residential premises will be converted into commercial apartments.

    Housing privatization will stop on 1 July 2016. Un-privatized apartments of the pubic housing stock will be turned into commercial housing after 1 July 2016.

    The decree sets forth the groups of people who have the priority right to get commercial housing for the period of their labor (service) contracts.

    These are civil servants on the list approved by the Belarusian President (Decree No. 286 of 19 May 1999), judges and prosecution officers, young specialists, workers of organizations located in the territories with the level of radioactive pollution of at least 5Ci/km2, the military, scientists, university professors and lecturers, workers of cultural organizations, categories of people determined by the Council of Ministers with the consent of the President of Belarus.

    The number of apartments provided to such citizens should not exceed 40% of municipal commercial housing. The remaining 60% will be provided to people on the waiting lists for better homes or other citizens.

    The resolution regarding the abovementioned municipal housing will be made by local executive bodies.

    The payments for commercial housing will be determined on equal terms taking into consideration the basic rates for using such housing determined by the Council of Ministers and certain multiplying coefficients introduced by local executive committees and the Minsk City Council. These multipliers will depend on the location of the apartment.

    The payments for commercial housing that used to be occupied company-owned apartments, special residential premises and certain categories of social apartments and the housing provided to people on waiting lists will be calculated taking into account the decreasing coefficients determined by local executive committees and the Minsk City Council.

    The terms of putting people on waiting lists will be streamlined. Thus, young families will be put on waiting lists regardless of the total area of the apartment they are living in if they do not have their own apartment or do not live in rented homes.

    Such families cannot take subsidized loans to build or buy homes. However, they can get commercial housing erected by municipal construction organizations.

    Moving into a rented apartment will be taken as an improvement of living conditions. People who receive commercial apartments will be excluded from waiting lists.

    The document specifies basic principles of putting people on waiting lists for better housing and the terms of providing commercial housing. Taking into consideration the peculiarities of social and legal guarantees for certain groups of people (the military, judges, prosecution officers and others), the relevant legal framework will be amended in line with the norms of the decree.