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      Szczecin: record-breaking housing sector results

      Marta Kufel

      Marta Kufel

      Szczecin: record-breaking housing sector results

      The last five years were abundant in residential building projects. New housing estates were built, and several dozen buildings and nearly one thousand flats were modernised. Between 2018 and 2023, Szczecin was ranked first in Poland in terms of the number of social rental flats built in our city. The residents themselves also greatly contributed to the renovation process.

      For years, Szczecin authorities, in collaboration with Szczecin TBS (Social Housing Association) and the Community Housing Board, have been making efforts to implement a consistent housing policy. On the one hand, they have been rationally managing the existing housing resources, and on the other hand, new housing estates were built and flats were renovated using various financing mechanisms. In addition, in recent years Szczecin launched over ten residential programmes addressed to seniors, large families, persons leaving foster care, university students and graduates. The programmes meet the expectations of residents from various walks of life and with different income levels.

      The City is also renting flats as part of comprehensive offering addressed to Szczecin residents. It includes, for example, renovated municipal flats, housing units available for TBS-level rent, and flats in exchange for renovation work. All these proposals are tailored to the needs and capabilities of individual resident groups.

      TBS Social Housing Associations are building new housing estates and breaking records.

      In the course of the last five years, several new housing estates were built in our city, both by the Szczecin TBS and TBS Prawobrzeże. In total, these two companies built 831 social rental flats. In this respect, we hold the leading position in Poland, taking into account the period between 2018 and 2023 (according to a study by experts from Gethome.pl).

      “The flats that the TBS Associations are building have turnkey finishing, which means that they are practically ready to live in. The rooms have modern-design fitted carpets, and there are glazed floor tiles and ceramic tiles in the bathrooms. The flats are fitted with sinks, baths, washbasins, sanitary appliances, new windows and doors,” explained Tomasz Klek, the City's Spokesman for Housing. 

      Most housing units, nearly five hundred, were built as part of the construction of two stages of Wrzosowe Wzgórze housing estate, situated in the vicinity of Szosa Polska St. The project was implemented by STBS (Szczecin Social Housing Association). In turn, around 200 flats were built as part of the construction of a housing estate in Pokładowa St. in Dąbie. The project was completed in 2020. The three final stages of a housing estate dedicated to reliable community tenants were also completed in Dąbie. The tenants were provided with 60 housing units. TBS Prawobrzeże, which merged with Szczecin TBS in 2021, completed the second stage of a housing estate in the area of Kusocińskiego, Sowińskiego and Głowackiego St., building 95 flats there in 2019. We need to bear in mind that, in addition to residential premises, the construction of new housing estates also entails the entire accompanying infrastructure, for example, new footpaths, alleys, parking spaces, playgrounds and leisure facilities.

      “In total, all projects related to the construction of new estates cost over 223 million zloty,” added Tomasz Klek

      Szczecin TBS is currently implementing several major projects which are due to provide over 200 new flats to the market. In Dąbie, the construction of the second stage of a housing estate in Pokładowa St. is currently in progress, and the internal part of quarter 36 in the city centre is being revitalised.

      Renovating buildings and flats

      Szczecin TBS and the Community Housing Board also renovate flats each year. The last five years saw the upgrade of over 900 housing units. As part of the activities, in addition to the renovation of a given flat itself, buildings are subject to thermal upgrade, bathrooms and lavatories are built in flats, and a new heating system and access to hot water from the municipal network are provided. Windows and doors are replaced, and basement walls are insulated.

      “Examples of such comprehensive modernisation work performed by STBS can be found in the renovated annexes in Pocztowa, Bohaterów Warszawy or Bogusława X St. As a result of the projects, over 90 reconstructed residential premises were put in use there,” said Tomasz Klek

      The company is currently modernising, i.a., annexes in 34, 3, 36 Bolesława Śmiałego St. and annexes in 21, 22 Bałuki St, and a tenement house at the promenade, in 49 Bogusława St. These activities will contribute to the upgrade of 80 flats. In turn, in the past five years the Community Housing Board renovated 738 flats, allocating nearly 30 million zloty for that purpose.

      Residents also have their share in renovation work.

      The “Flat for Renovation” Programme has been in place in Szczecin for over ten years, and continues to enjoy huge popularity. It is dedicated to adult Szczecin residents who do not have their flats, living with their parents or renting a flat on the free market, and whose earnings fall within the defined thresholds. Nearly 1500 families used this programme alone between 2018 and 2023. And last year was record-breaking in this respect, as the Community Housing Board handed over to residents 319 residential premises for renovation.

      The list of flats available for renovation includes premises of varying standards. There are flats without bathrooms or heating, or flat where only solid-fuel heating is available. For years, such flats did not arouse any considerable interest because they required huge outlays on renovation work. In 2021, the City catered for the residents’ expectations and introduced an option to subsidise this type of investment.

      “A resident who wishes to renovate a flat without a bathroom or, for example, gas-fired heating, may receive a subsidy. It is possible thanks to amendments to the Small Improvements Programme that were introduced in recent years,” added Tomasz Klek. 

      The residents’ interest in this Programme greatly increased since then. Thanks to the Small Improvements Programme, in the last five years the City subsidised the renovation of municipal flats performed by residents with the amount of 5.3 million zloty.

      It should be noted that until present, the Community Housing Board did not report any cases of tenants leaving the flat that they had renovated at their expense or any instances of devastation in such premises. On the contrary, such families belong to reliable tenants who usually pay the rent on time and care for their flats. Last year, a possibility was provided to file online applications for flats as part of the offering.

      To sum up, between 2018 and 2023, we managed to

      - build 4 housing estates,

      - build 27 new residential buildings,

      - build 831 social rental flats,

      - conduct modernisation work in 900 municipal and STBS-owned flats

      - complete 1500 renovation projects as part of the “Flat for Renovation” offering.

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