Massive renovation of apartment buildings has begun2014-03-19
The beginning of massive apartment building renovations was the primary topic of the press breakfast held today at the Ministry of Environment. Minister of Environment Valentinas Mazuronis, Vice-minister Daiva Matonienė, Housing Energy Conservation Agency director Valius Serbenta, and UAB “Sistela” CEO Albinas Vaitkevičius all spoke about the renovations.
“The apartment renovation situation in Lithuania has changed fundamentally. Not long ago, we were trying to talk people into renovating their homes and considering those who were interested. Now, however, residents are attacking municipalities and are angry when they don't include their buildings in their express renovation lists,” - said minister Valentinas Mazuronis.
At this time, 292 apartment buildings in 35 municipalities have signed work contracts. Of these, 76 are already surrounded by construction scaffolding. Once the weather becomes milder, scaffolding will rise around the rest of the buildings as well. The residents of 1,020 more apartment buildings have also approved of renovations. Financial institutions have already approved modernization projects for 798 of these buildings.
This is the result of one year of work. In the words of Vice-minister Daiva Matonienė, 2013 saw a breakthrough in the renovation effort. Up until that point, only 400 apartment buildings had been renewed over the course of a decade.
At this time, 80 percent of the “Jessica” fund, or 621 million litas, has been reserved for apartment building renewal. The EU Structural Fund 2014-2020 is another financing source. 1.2 billion litas from this fund will be spent on renovations for apartment buildings and public buildings. “The ministry is working hard to find other sources of funding in an attempt to speed up the renovation process and make it easier on residents,” - noted the vice-minister.
Contractors' desires to raise the prices of the investment's projects by 30-40 percent were also discussed at the press breakfast. “We will not let them rob residents. We are against raising prices,” - said Valentinas Mazuronis. - “The mistakes of each individual renovation project can be fixed, but the prices of all the projects cannot rise just because construction companies' capabilities were reduced during the crisis.” Construction companies, like any other business, are subject to the laws of the marketplace, according to the minister. In the presence of demand, there will be supply. Therefore, the minister sees no reason to offer any sort of tax exemptions to local companies. If there isn't enough construction capability in Lithuania, then companies from Poland or other nations will be able to complete renovation work as well. The road to Lithuania is open to them because companies can obtain these contracts not just through the Central Purchasing Organization, but through public tenders as well.
Vice-minister Daiva Matonienė promised journalists that the next press breakfast will be organized on the scaffolding of one of the buildings being renovated.
Public information division