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Social Housing in Europe


Brussels, 27 March 2010 | Published in Research

What is social housing?

In Slovenia social housing is official defined as “non-profit rented dwelling” and it is addressed to people on low to middle income. At present, social housing represents about 6% of the national housing stock. This is considered as new social housing, as opposed to the concept of social housing used before the 1991, in the context of the former socialist period.

In 1991, two arrangements were established, social housing, provided by municipalities and targeting only very low income people, and non-profit housing for low to middle-income households. The two programmes were merged into one in 2003 and the same year the Housing Fund of the Republic of Slovenia was created. The Housing Fund’s main tasks are provision of loans, being a co-investor and a partner in public-private partnerships.

Who provides social housing?

Currently social housing providers are municipalities as well as 60 registered not-for-profit organisations. Municipalities or groups of municipalities often set up a municipal housing fund.

How is social housing financed?

The Housing Fund of the Republic of Slovenia is a public financial and real estate fund established to finance and implement the National Housing Programme, stimulating housing construction, renovation and maintenance of housing and residential buildings. Municipalities must finance the provision of social-rented dwellings for people with the lowest income from municipal budget.

In the case of non-profit organizations, municipalities must contribute 40% of the construction cost, and obtain the remaining 60% of funds from the National Housing Fund in the form of favourable loans. Non-profit rents cannot exceed prescribed limits, expressed as the percentage of the value of housing unit.

Furthermore, upon entering the sector, new tenants have to pay a participation fee unless their income is particularly low. For service users below certain income thresholds the rent is split between the tenant and the municipal housing department.

Who can access social housing?

To be eligible, tenants must be citizens of Republic of Slovenia, they have to have certain housing and social conditions and must pay participation fee and guarantee deposit. Priority is given to families with children, households with unemployed members, young persons and families, disabled, and to claimants whose profession or activity is considered as important for the local community.