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After adding more than 15,000 rental apartments in Vienna, Erste Bank is establishing another company in Czech Republic, called Affordable Housing Česká spořitelna, to contribute to the development of housing in the country. Photo credit: Freepik

Brno, Feb 17 (BD) – Česká spořitelna will start building affordable housing in the Czech Republic, following the example of the city of Vienna, where its parent company Erste Bank has already built over 15,000 affordable rental apartments. “Erste Bank, the parent company, has been established in the city of Vienna for more than 60 years and so far this concept has been very efficient,” said Brno’s Deputy Mayor for Housing Jiří Oliva (CSSD).

For this purpose, Česká spořitelna has established the company Affordable Housing Česká spořitelna. On February 16th, Brno councillors agreed on a cooperation with the company, which should lead to the development of housing that will be offered at a better price than market rent. “This project for the construction of affordable rental apartments by the private sector is another model that we want to implement in Brno. The first step will be the construction of affordable cooperative housing, which we are already preparing intensively in Brno in six locations, with about 1,500 apartments,” added Oliva.

“Housing affordability is a big issue across the whole Czech Republic, but in Prague and Brno in particular,” said the Mayor of Brno, Markéta Vaňková (ODS). “I therefore welcome that it is possible to find other ways to improve affordability. Even though the city plays an important role in the housing market, reconstructing existing apartment buildings and building new ones, compared to the private sector we are limited by legal procedures in the design of public contracts. Therefore, we can expect a more flexible procedure from cooperation with the private sector, which will help people benefit faster from the new housing.” 

The purpose of the project is to build apartment buildings where the rent is about one-fifth lower than the normal market rent. The construction is being carried out from private funds, without any burden on the budget of the City of Brno. “Česká spořitelna prefers that the tenants be recruited primarily from the ranks of professions that are key to society, such as firefighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, and others, especially young families. Specific tenants would then be selected directly by the City,” said Oliva. “We want construction to begin as soon as possible, so we have recommended a location on the city’s land, namely Západní brána in Starý Lískovec,” he added.

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