More people are recently choosing to live outside Rīga with opportunities to work remotely. Liepāja does face the same housing issue as Rīga – there are few apartments on the market, and they are expensive.
Liepāja has built over 10 new production plants over the past years, but the owners often have issues attracting workforce due to the housing issue. A two-bed apartment in Liepāja costs 15 to 30 thousand in the suburbs, but in the center – 35 to 65 thousand. Rental prices are on average 120 to 300 euros a month for a two-bed, which is about twice as cheap as in Rīga, but still pricy for the region.
Liepāja vice mayor Salvis Roga said: "We get indications from entrepreneurs and producers that the residential fund is insufficient or inappropriate. We have to [..] create new opportunities."
The council has planned a new neighborhood next to the Southwest district in an area of 25.4 hectares of detached houses and multi-apartment buildings, which will be entrusted to private investors. According to Roga, they will be suited for people with different incomes and purchasing power.
The future neighborhood will be in close proximity to abandoned WWI forts, which many Liepāja residents use for walks. The surveyed residents say that it is good to build new houses but at the same time they would not want to lose the walking area.
The city's chief architect Uģis Kaugurs says that the protected forests and dunes will not be touched, and the forts will also be preserved.
The decision of the city council still needs permission of the Environment Protection and Regional Development Ministry.