ELEMENTS OF CONTEXT
HISTORY OF CITIES – HERITAGE
RIGHT TO HOUSING
While there is no article contained in the Lithuanian Constitution concerning the right to housing, there are still some related provisions that property and people’s dwelling place shall be inviolable and rights of ownership shall be protected by law (articles 23 and 24).
The right to housing of an adequate standard is regulated through the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Housing and Modernizing Blocks of Flats (Law No. I-2455 of April 1992). The Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Income Tax of Individuals (Gazette, 2002 No. 73-3085) provides for tax relief for some categories of recipients of housing loans. As of 1 January 2003, following the enactment of the Law Amending the Housing Law (amendment of the law No IX-1188 of 12 November 2002), amending the Law on State Support to Acquire or Rent a Housing and Modernization of Blocks of Flats, municipalities have to hold waiting lists for individuals (families) entitles to social housing for the people who cannot acquire a dwelling in the market. Moreover, if a person is not satisfied with the relevant authorities’ decision concerning a state subsidy for housing loan or social housing, there is possibility to complain under administrative procedure and to the court. While this procedure is rather effective, it only applies to certain decisions of authorities and does not cover all aspects of the right to housing.
Lithuania ratified the Revised European Social Charter on 29/06/2001. It has accepted 86 of the 98 paragraphs of the Revised Charter, including the Articles 31.1 and 31.2 on the right to housing. Lithuania has not yet signed or ratified the Additional Protocol providing for a system of collective complaints.
Source : FEANTSA, 2012 (1)
In the case of evictions, according to the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania (18 July 2000 No VIII-1864, Vilnius), people who are being evicted are protected under some particular conditions. For example, natural persons shall be evicted with the sanction of the public prosecutor and be provided with another adequately equipped dwelling fit for habitation, in case of dwelling premises owned by state, municipalities or legal persons being brought into a condition of dilapidation or rendered unfit for habitation due to natural disasters, fire or technical wear and tear. This also applies in cases where the dwelling is subject to demolition; the dwelling is not retained after capital repair, reconstruction or change of planning of the premises; and the dwelling premises are transformed for other designation.
Source : FEANTSA 2012
SOME INTERESTING PRACTICES
Social and economic aspects
According to INSEE, in 2007, 89% of Lithuanian households owned their homes (EU average = 65%).
QUALITY OF HOUSING
INFORMAL HOUSING / SLUM / HOMELESS
ROLE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
Definition and situation in 2012
Municipal apartments let at a rent fixed by the state represent social housing in the country. After the privatisation of the housing stock, only 3% remained as public social housing, which is now let for rent to particularly disadvantaged groups. Besides social rental housing, subsidies to mortgage loans are also given by the state to disabled families, orphans, families raising more than three children, and young families.
How does it work ?
Municipalities are the only providers of social housing in Lithuania. Social housing tenants include disadvantaged groups such as orphans, disabled, invalid children, retired couples, young families and families with many children.
Rents in municipal social housing vary depending on location but on average they are lower than market rents are lower by tenfold. Social housing tenants include disadvantaged groups such as orphans, disabled, invalid children, retired couples, young families and families with many children.
The development of the social housing stock using public and local government funds have been established as a priority, and the government aims at achieving a level where the rental housing share would account for 18% of the total housing stock in 2020 (in 2003 it accounted for only 10%), including social housing at 4-5%.
Source : CECODHAS Report 2012
Cultural aspects – Religious – Symbolic
Bibliography & Sitography