Housing Programme Targets Low Income

This year, 6.8 million square meters of housing in Kazakhstan will be built as part of the Affordable Housing 2020 programme.

The programme is intended for people of all income levels and the effectiveness of its implementation depends on how state agencies, local authorities, developers, banks and manufacturers of building materials pursue the initiative. Coherent interaction between parties in addressing emerging housing problems was discussed at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov.

There are housing issues in virtually all regions of the country. Affordable Housing 2020 aims to provide thousands of people in the housing queue with flats. However, there are a number of obstacles related to housing construction associated with underutilised funds, private investments, flawed equity procedures, etc.

Noting the importance of Affordable Housing 2020, the prime minister stressed that providing the population with quality and affordable housing is one of the main objectives of social modernisation efforts, which are under special presidential control.

First Vice-Minister of Regional Development Kairbek Uskenbayev reported on the results of the programme for the first nine months of this year. He noted the increase in the pace of construction.

Individual housing accounts for more than 59 percent of all lodging in the country, or 2.7 million square meters. This is 12 percent more than in the same period last year.

State property enterprises and organisations commissioned 524,900,000 square meters of housing during the nine month period.

As for the construction of housing at the state’s expense, according to the deputy minister, the situation is as follows: 17,500,000,000 tenge ($113,441,000) of targeted transfers was provided for the construction of rental housing to be added to the waiting list in 2013. Decreased funds were given to Astana, because comments made by technical supervisors were ignored. Also, contractors did not comply with the work schedule. It is planned to build 285,000 square meters of housing this year there as part of the programme.

The oblast akimats (city administrations) of the cities of Astana and Almaty allotted 10 billion in target transfers this year for the construction of rental housing for young families. Decreased funds were allotted to Mangistau because of reasons such as suspended work in Aktau. 117,000 square meters of rental housing is planned to be commissioned for young families in 2013.

451,500 square metres or 6,400 apartments are planned to be put into operation in 2013 through the system of housing savings. About 141,500 square metres or 2,054 flats have been built over the first nine months of the current year. A total of 30.1 billion tenge ($195,000,000) was provided in 2013 for the construction of credit housing. Non-disbursement of finance was observed in the Zhambyl, Karaganda, South Kazakhstan and Mangystau regions.

As newly appointed chairman of the board of Zhilstroysberbank Aybatyr Zhumagulov stated, the akimats and the bank signed an agreement to build 171 residential houses with 13,700 apartments and a total area of 875,000 square metres. As of 1 October 2013, 63 buildings with 5,000 apartments and a total area of 324,000 square metres had been commissioned.

Thus, according to the head of the bank, documents for 3,400 flats were approved and 90 percent of them have already been financed. By the end of this year, they plan to commission 74 houses with 6,000 flats; a remaining 34 homes will be put into operation next year.

The bank’s chairman also added that since the beginning of this year, the total number of flats sold under this programme has increased by 84 percent. The number of applications received from investors to participate in the pool increased twofold: 26,000 applications were received for 13,000 apartments.

Having heard the reports, the prime minister pointed to poor bank and branch management and a lack of work with local agencies. Akhmetov called for the optimization of the bank’s activities, especially outside of city centres.

Presentations and reports at the meeting were also made by the deputy chairman of the Kazakhstan Housing Construction Corporation Ruslan Khusainov, chairman of the Real Estate Fund Samruk-Kazyna Bolat Palymbetov, deputy minister of Industry and New Technologies Nurlan Sauranbayev, the governors of Mangistau – Alik Aidarbayev, Karaganda – Baurzhan Abdishev, Pavlodar – Yerlan Aryn, South Kazakhstan – Askar Myrzakhmetov and Deputy Akim (Mayor) of Astana Sergey Khoroshun.

Summing up the discussion, the prime minister drew the attention of the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning to the need to allot funds to implement the programme in full. The head of government instructed the Ministry of Regional Development to monitor and control the timely disbursement of budget funds. The oblast akims and akims of Astana and Almaty were instructed to commission the specified amounts of housing for this year.

Akhmetov also ordered a meeting of regional akims and ministries of regional development and industry and new technologies to develop a three-year programme for the launch of housing factories and the timely commissioning of individual homes.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter and Telegram!