LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITY IN HOUSING: TASKS AND THEIR FULFILMENT (Odpowiedzialnosc samorzadu lokalnego w sprawach mieszkalnictwa. Zadania a realizacja)
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The paper discusses the scope of responsibilities of the local government for housing issues within the commune's area. Statutory provisions (including the Polish Constitution) impose on local governments responsibility for implementing the housing policy of the state, since it is on local level that both the identification of the scale and type of needs, and their fulfilment take place. The role of the commune is twofold: on the one hand, it has to create conditions for satisfying the housing needs, and on the other, it acts as a subject in the process of satisfying those needs, assuming the roles of an owner, manager, investor, or a shareholder (social housing projects, or public and private partnership ones). The tasks of the commune in the field of housing concern the following: (1) creating conditions for satisfying housing needs of all community members, (2) satisfying housing needs of those community members, who for financial reasons are unable to do it in a market-based approach through the provision of temporary accommodation and social dwellings, or provision of shelter to the homeless, (3) managing the housing stock owned by the commune. Those tasks are carried out in the following ways: (a) creating conditions for satisfying housing needs of all community members includes physical economy and land management, commune development strategies and long-term programmes of managing the commune's housing stock, revitalization programmes, acquisition of external financial resources (state budget or EU funds), provision of housing benefits; (b) satisfying housing needs of community members is effected through increasing and maintaining the municipal housing stock, including the construction of new homes exclusively from own resources of the commune, or co-financed by the commune (Social Housing Associations, or public and private partnership projects), taking over former factory or military flats, conversion of school, dormitory, hostel, etc. buildings or other facilities (post-industrial) to satisfy needs related to social dwellings, modernization, thermal insulation and refurbishment projects; (c) managing own housing stock includes renting flats that make up the municipal housing stock, maintaining that stock, sale of municipal dwellings, participation in establishing and directing tenant management organizations. The communes' tasks are presented at the background of problems pertaining to their completion.
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