Ministry wants to help municipalities build 600 apartments this year

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Latvia's Economics Ministry wants to grant state support for municipalities to build 600 new rental apartments, Economics Ministry representative Edmunds Valantis told Latvian Radio May 2.

Valantis said that Latvia's regional housing stock has depleted, especially in regions seeing economic growth. "It's critically important to set up new housing stock here, so that new companies would grow and the current ones could add new jobs," he said.

He said that most households can only afford to rent apartments, and that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has also noted that housing availability is one of the most pressing matters to be solved in Latvia. 

"What we're offering is supporting the construction of up to 600 new apartments, with state funding of up to €15 million," he said. This would mean about 30% of the costs would be covered. 

Valantis said that up until now new apartment buildings have been constructed in Rīga, Rīga's suburbs and Jūrmala, while private investors are reluctant to support new projects outside the capital and its surrounding regions. That's why the ministry wants to involve municipalities, as this would solve the problem more quickly. 

Municipalities with low unemployment and positive or only slightly negative population growth are to be preferred, Valantis said. 

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