STA, 16 April 2019 - Slovenia's capital Ljubljana is short of some 4,000 non-profit homes for rent and will not be able to meet the demand on its own, the boss of the municipal housing fund, Sašo Rink, told the city council as it debated the issue on Monday.
With a population of some 280,000, Ljubljana is the largest city in Slovenia and demand for flats, new and second-hand ones, is huge, and so are the prices.
National statistics show that housing prices in Slovenia rose by 18.2% in 2018, although they have not yet exceeded the pre-crisis levels at national level.
However, Ljubljana is different. A recent report said a square metre of a second-hand flat costs almost 2,800 euro on average, or roughly as much as in 2008.
From 2008 to 2015, the prices of second-hand homes in Ljubljana slowly fell by 30%, but then they quickly rose by 35% in the next three years, Finance said.
Rink said Ljubljana's Public Housing Fund would not be able to effectively solve the situation if the state does not provide a systemic source of funds for public homes for rent.
City councillor Marko Koprivec of the Social Democrats (SD) agreed the issue should be addressed at the national level.
"Leaving the housing policy to the market when people are being pushed into an utterly inconvenient situation should stop," he stressed.
The city council also endorsed the city's 2019-2022 housing programme, which shows the housing fund had 14 projects in various stages of development at the end of 2018.
The projects which have a detailed timeline are to provide 1,094 flats, while a total of 1,500 are to be built when all the planned projects are implemented.
The city council also backed the fund's changed budget for 2019, cutting revenue to 21.9 million euro due to lower borrowing and raising expenditure to 25.8 million.