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500 apartment buildings to be renovated. What next?


“It is has been already stated that almost 500 apartment buildings will be renovated, but what will be next? There are 34 thousand apartment buildings which are in need of renovation in the country. Experience shows that the renovation according to our proposed new financing model, which is implemented by municipalities, proved to be successful. The second stage of the renovation process has begun and more than 1500 apartment buildings will be renovated”, Valentinas Mazuronis, the Minister of Environment, said in the press conference today.

The press conference dedicated to major issues related to renovation of apartment buildings was held at the apartment building numbered 52 in Šilo Street in Vilnius. Daiva Matonienė, the Vice-minister of Environment, Valius Serbenta, the director of the Housing energy saving agency, Linas Jakaitis, the community chairman of the afore mentioned apartment building and Albertas Jonas Bareišis, the director of the construction company TM Capital, also took part in the press conference.

As the Vice-minister Daiva Matonienė said, in order to speed up the process of renovating apartment buildings currently additional financing sources are being intensively sought. It is also very important that the new Law on Territorial Planning basically opened opportunities to start renovation by housing areas renovating a whole residential area and not individual apartment buildings. However, according to the Vice-minister, preparations are needed for such renovation. It has to be tested and only later to be implemented on a mass scale. In the middle of May, a delegation of the Ministry of Environment will visit Germany to become acquainted with its successful renovation practice. A pilot project and support for its implementation are expected to be obtained. The municipalities of Utena, Šiauliai and other cities have already prepared preliminary housing area renovation plans.

Judging by experience from other countries, in some cases it is simpler to take down an old block of flats and build a new one in its place. According to Daiva Matonienė, this method will soon be tested in Lithuania. Kaunas city municipality has already established a working group, which is working on a solution related to an old apartment building in the centre of the city. The building will be taken down and a new apartment block will be erected in its place. "Even though the implementation of such solutions is complicated (residents need temporary accommodation, good investors are difficult to find, etc.) we are moving towards this direction. We need a success story for inspiration”, the Vice-minister said.

Considerable attention is paid not only to renovation of residential apartment buildings, but also to renovation of public buildings. To make the process faster, more transparent and more efficient, the experience of the municipality programme in renovating apartment buildings will be applied. The Ministry of Environment together with the Ministry of Energy will take care of the renovation of buildings owned by the state and municipalities. There are more than two thousand such buildings in the country and considerable investment is needed for their renovation, however we must understand, as the Minister Valentinas Mazuronis said, that the money will not be wasted. It means business transactions, workplaces for people, taxes for the state, less environmental pollution and the state's step towards energetic independency.

Public Information Division

Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas