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In 2009, Skuodas – the district centre of one of the 14 most problematic districts in Lithuania – had 91 occupied social flats and 48 families on the housing waiting list. Owing to the economic crisis, the need for social housing was constantly increasing. The municipality was not financially capable of renovating, maintaining or purchasing new premises for the development of social dwellings. With €337 000 of ERDF money allocated under the nationally coordinated scheme ‘Social housing development and quality improvement’, an abandoned block in the Skuodas hospital was completely reconstructed to create 16 social flats which now accommodate 54 persons. The project is one of the first completed social housing development projects in Lithuania.

Executive summary

As a rule, the demand for social housing in deprived territories is high. Skuodas district, on the Lithuanian-Latvian border, is no exception. It has been declared to be one of the 14 most problematic districts in Lithuania, and suffers from high unemployment and a high number of recipients of social allowances. The availability of ERDF funding for the development of urban infrastructure allowed the district to implement one of the first social housing projects in the country under the nationally coordinated scheme ‘Social housing development and quality improvement’.

In 2009, Skuodas town had 91 occupied social flats and 48 families on the waiting list. Owing to the economic crisis, the need for social housing was constantly increasing. The municipality was not financially capable of renovating, maintaining or purchasing new premises for the development of social dwellings. With ERDF funding allocated, the creation of social housing was suddenly possible. The main issue for the local authority was to find a suitable building. It turned out that the only available and appropriate building owned by the municipality was an abandoned block in Skuodas hospital.

The sum of 1.37 million litas (approximately €400 000) was enough to completely reconstruct the building and apply energy-saving measures. Sixteen social flats were created. While initially it was planned that 28 persons would be housed, actually larger families have been accommodated and currently there are 54 persons (including large families, young families with low incomes, orphans and disabled people) living in the building. The social service centre located on the first floor of the same building plays an important role in the socialisation of socially vulnerable families and especially families at risk.

Although the project was definitely a success, it highlights that the mere provision of social housing does not solve the general problem of integrating socially vulnerable persons into the society, and does not motivate them to become economically independent. On the contrary, the supply of well-equipped and centrally located social apartments may increase the demand for social housing among people who used to live from their own resources but in apparently worse conditions.

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Technical information

Name

From soviet-type hospital block to 21st century flats

Member State and Region

Lithuania - Klaipeda region (county) - Skuodas district

Duration of project

12 months (02.2010 – 02.2011)

Funding

Total budget: 1 370 958,00 LTL (397 057 €) - ERDF contribution: 1 165 314,00 LTL (337 498 €)

Cohesion Policy Objective

Convergence

Managing Authority

EU Structural Assistance Management Department of the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania

Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (Intermediate body) and the Central Project Management Authority (implementing agency)

CCI nr of OP

2007LT161PO001 - Operational Programme for the Promotion of Cohesion

Contact

Romualdas Rancas, project manager

Skuodas district municipality administration - Skuodas, Lithuania

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web

www.skuodas.lt (LT, EN)

Keywords

Urban renewal, disadvantaged neighbourhoods

     
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