By: Domen Mezeg / Nova24tv
“How the demagoguery works on the example of housing mathematics: 1,300,000,000 euros! The population of Ljubljana: 280.000 or 14 percent of the country. The housing idea of the left: 10,000 flats in 7 years, meaning 1,428 flats in a year or 200 flats a year in Ljubljana. Which is even less than before. Did you buy into their idea?” the socio-political commentator Tomaž Štih, who is a renowned expert in the field of housing, exposed the misleading housing policy of the left-wing parties. Prime Minister Janez Janša added that in the next five years, the housing fund will put almost 4,000 flats on the market, on the basis of projects that are already underway, which is over ten times more than what the SD party had built in the last five years during which they were part of the government.
Recently, we have witnessed new empty promises made by the Social Democrats in the field of housing policy, especially from the MP Marko Koprivc, who is apparently counting on the voters’ forgetfulness. Namely, the Social Democrats were part of various ruling coalitions for most of the time after Slovenia gained its independence. We have also repeatedly heard empty promises from them when it comes to solving this burning problem, for example, in 2008, but so far, nothing has changed. After 2008, we could also hear similar promises to the ones that Koprivc is making today from MEP Tanja Fajon, who even organised a roundtable on this topic a few months ago.
Recently, Koprivc also reminded everyone that, among other things, a parliamentary law had been submitted to the National Assembly to encourage the construction of 10,000 rental apartments. In their bill, the SD party supposedly drew inspiration from the ruling Vienna Social Democrats, where this area is well regulated (as far as Koprivc is concerned). With the new law, they would provide 1 billion and 300 million euros in funds over the next six years. And this should all be realised after they take over the power, if not sooner. It makes sense, of course, that since the elections are coming soon, something needs to be done in order to promote the party.
Socio-political commentator Tomaž Štih completely rejected Koprivc’s misconceptions, saying: “In Slovenia, the state has been pursuing a Vienna housing policy for twenty years, and in that time, the rental housing has not become any more affordable but has risen by 275 percent in Vienna!” The dysfunctional social democratic model is based on a few socialist delusions: the first delusion is that the main problem is the lack of non-profit rental housing. In fact, Slovenia has the highest ratio of non-profit leases vs profit leases in the developed world. For every Slovenian living in a market lease, there are almost two who live in a non-profit lease.
But because we misdiagnosed the problem twenty years ago, we have also been solving it in the wrong way for the past twenty years. Štih emphasised that the solution was a more liberal land policy, but at the same time, he pointed out the excessive fear that a handful of young people would build houses everywhere. Yesterday, Prime Minister Janez Janša also pointed out that the government had increased the average amount of lump sums for Slovenian municipalities. Municipal and city funds will thus be able to offer more than 1,500 apartments.
So, from the projects and funds already in place, and partially also from the recovery and resilience plan, more than 5,000 homes will actually be built in the upcoming years. “At the moment, 1,044 flats are being built as part of the Ljubljana Housing Fund alone, and many more are under construction in other Slovenian municipalities as well,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša. The data of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia that 26 percent more building permits were issued in August 2021 than in July 201 is also promising.