Landmark Legislation Defines Affordable Housing in Czech Republic

In a significant move, the Czech Republic’s parliament has passed legislation setting clear guidelines for affordable housing. Such housing tenants typically have a two-year contract with the option to extend for a fixed term. This legislation is part of a broader amendment aimed at simplifying and clarifying the support from the State Fund for Investment Support (SFPI). The proposal will now be forwarded to the Senate.

The new law also specifies that affordable rent should not exceed 90 percent of the locally usual rent. In the first year, the rent for affordable housing provided by, for instance, the state, regions, and municipalities should not exceed the amount calculated from the costs associated with the construction or acquisition and operation of affordable rental housing.

Simultaneously, it must be lower than the usual local rent. In the following years, affordable rent could increase by inflation, but by no more than four percent annually. The Ministry of Finance would be responsible for compiling rent price maps.

According to MP Klára Dostálová, the difference between possible rent levels disadvantages private providers of affordable housing compared to public providers. She warned that this could potentially conflict with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, Minister for Local Development Ivan Bartoš disagreed, stating that the cost of rent would be lower in many regions.

The legislation allows households without housing up to a specific net income level, victims of domestic violence, or individuals in so-called preferred professions to access affordable housing. These professions include healthcare workers, teachers, police officers, rescuers, and social services workers.