Billions Spent on Housing, No Impact, Criticizes Czech Supreme Audit Office

The Czech Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) has recently criticized the state’s housing initiatives, stating that billions spent through the Ministry for Local Development (MMR) and the State Fund for Investment Support (SFPI) from 2016 to 2021 had only a marginal impact on the housing market. According to the ministry, this results from the inability of the previous government led by the ANO movement.

In the mentioned period, the state-supported over 4500 entities with 13.8 billion Czech korunas. The SFPI, within the Construction for Municipalities program framework, was supposed to improve housing for at least 2375 households, focusing on the construction of social apartments. However, by the end of 2022, only 226 of these apartments were completed.

“The role of the construction of supported apartments about the total volume of completed apartments and the number of inhabited apartments is marginal,” the NKÚ stated, “The construction of supported apartments is not able to significantly influence the situation on the housing market.”

Current Minister for Local Development, Ivan Bartoš, described the situation as an “unflattering testimony of the ANO movement,” which he claims resigned the law on social housing and replaced it with improperly configured programs.

The NKÚ also criticized the Rental Apartments program, which was supposed to support disadvantaged groups. However, due to program conditions prioritizing the return of funds over protecting individuals from the target group, the rent from the original 135 korunas per square meter rose to 569 korunas per meter.

According to the NKÚ, this situation puts pressure on the state to incur additional costs, such as housing allowances. The NKÚ emphasized the long-term absence of a systematic solution to housing policy, with a proposed law expected to be effective only from the middle of 2025. The MMR claims that ineffective programs have been terminated and replaced with a new program, planning to build most of the 474 newly designed apartments by 2025.