Who will be given these low cost flats and on what terms?21/11/2016

In his Decree of 16 November, President Ilham Aliyev has approved the Rules on Purchase by Citizens of Flats at Disposal of MIDA Limited Liability Company on Preferential Terms. Samir Nuriyev, Director of the State Housing Development Agency, has consented to an interview with AZERTAC News Agency to provide information about the New Rules and the work done to ensure the possibility for citizens to own a flat on preferential terms. We present you this interview.

- Mr. Nuriyev, how would you evaluate the social significance of this Decree signed by the Head of State for citizens?

- The Decree of President Ilham Aliyev, signed on 16 November 2016, and the Rules on Purchase by Citizens of Flats at Disposal of MIDA Limited Liability Company on Preferential Terms, are a logical continuation of the social policy implemented in recent years to improve housing conditions for the country’s citizens, and have a paramount importance.

The successful and overall reforms implemented by the great leader Heydar Aliyev, and continued under the leadership of his worthy successor, President Ilham Aliyev, in the Independence period help to improve the economic and social environment in the country. The results of this well-balanced State policy helps to, not only ensure the sustainable development of our country, but also to solve many social problems, increase the social protection of the population and make progressive steps to increase prosperity.

Also, one of the targets set by the Head of State is to improve the housing conditions of the citizens. The increasing population of the country makes it most important to meet the housing needs of the people. In particular, the resolution of housing problems for vulnerable citizens and young families is defined as a priority task by President Ilham Aliyev.

This Decree embodies the special attention of Mister President to the issue of ensuring low cost flats for vulnerable families in the country, and shows also the determination in continuing the reforms implemented within the State policy in the social sphere, aimed at meeting the interests of the citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

As well as enabling the citizens to own a flat on preferential terms, these Rules, approved by the Decree, will also create the conditions for fully transparent activities of this system.

According to the guidance from the President, the Low Cost Housing system which will be created at e-Government portal will make it possible to register electronically those citizens who have the right to purchase a flat on preferential terms without wasting time and minimize the human factor in this process.

- What is the main significance of the New Rules? When will the Low Cost Housing System be launched?

- The relevant Decree of President Ilham Aliyev defines those persons who have the right to purchase flats on preferential terms, including also the conditions and mechanisms on buying flats via the Low Cost Housing e-system. According to the Rules, the Low Cost Housing System will be created at e-Government portal, and the citizens will be offered a possibility to buy a low cost apartment in the buildings to be constructed on sites allocated to the State Housing Development Agency. The System will be launched on May 1st, 2017.

The Low Cost Housing System will ensure the integrated and open-to-public registration in real time of all electronic applications filed by citizens of the Republic of Azerbaijan wishing to buy flats at the disposal of MIDA LLC acting in subordination to the Agency.

- What are the advantages brought by the Low Cost Housing System to be applied in Azerbaijan for the first time? Who will be able to buy such apartments and how will the process proceed?

- The main aim of the preferential terms is explained by the fact that the price of such flats to be sold is lower than the average real estate price in that area. At the same time, citizens will be able to purchase and pay within a period of 3 to 30 years, using the preferential mortgage loan of the Azerbaijani Mortgage Fund Open Joint-Stock Society. I would also note that these flats will be handed over in full repair and equipped with kitchen furniture.

In accordance with the Rules, the right to purchase a flat on preferential terms is assigned to persons envisaged in Item 3.2 of the Rules on Mortgage Loans, including Preferential Mortgage Loans allocated from the funds of the Azerbaijani Mortgage Fund Open Joint-Stock Company, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, signed on June 22.

In accordance with that Item, the following persons have the right to use a preferential mortgage loan:

Those people related to this category have already had the right to benefit from social mortgages. From now on, additionally, in accordance with the newly approved Rules, these people also have the right to buy social flats with a price lower than the average market price.

The said persons can choose a flat as they complete the registration, by applying via the Low Cost Housing System. The Low Cost Housing e-System will have two pillars. First of all, the compatibility of an applying citizen will be checked against the approved criteria, based on data provided by him. His application will be processed within 5 working days and the decision on registration will be adopted thereafter.

During the next and second stage, as the announcement on the sale of flats is made, a person that has a right to buy social housing, and has passed the registration, can complete the operation by choosing the number of rooms and a floor of the flat to be bought via the electronic system. I should also underline that, in accordance with the Rules, the announcement on selling flats can only be made for the building whose construction work has been 30% or more completed in line with the project. The announcement will be at least 30 days before the start of sales.

- At what stage is the work on implementation of the first project of the Agency?

- As we have already informed the public, the first project of the Agency – the Yasamal Housing Compound - is being implemented on a site of 11.6 h, located near the external ring road in the Yasamal district of Baku city. While choosing this site for the Yasamal Housing Compound, all factors which are necessary for the comfortable living of the occupants had been considered. This site is located in an ecologically friendly and favorable part of the city.

The document on Urban Development, related to this site of the Yasamal Housing Compound, has recently been proposed and approved. The project estimates have been also developed. At the current stage, the construction project is submitted to the State Chief Expertise of the State Agency for Safety Supervision in Construction of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, to provide a relevant expert opinion. At the same time, the work is underway to build a new road to the site and to relocate existing engineering and communication cables.

- Another issue which interests citizens the most is related to the quality of the flats. How will you organize the quality control of the buildings and cooperate with the construction companies?

- I should note that one of the goals set by the Head of State is related to the high quality of both buildings and their repair work. I can certainly say that there will be a serious control over both the quality of the work carried out and the use of construction materials. Urban development specialists, architects and employees of the relevant departments will provide the supervision of the construction companies who work for the Agency: its subordinate company, MIDA LLC, will ensure the high level performance of this project. This serious control will also help to organize the work of the entrepreneurs operating the construction site in line with the required quality standards.

I think it is also necessary to point out another factor: it is the use of local construction materials. In the course of recent years, the construction sector has been growing rapidly in Azerbaijan. The construction work carried out at the expense of both public and private local and foreign investments is a clear indication of this sector’s development. The activities of the Agency that will encompass both the current and next construction projects will not only improve the housing conditions for the citizens, but also impact positively on the development of the construction sector. The development of social housing will help to create new jobs, and make the construction sector and construction materials industry more attractive for investment.

- Will there be any limitations for citizens who buy flats on these preferential terms?

- According to the Rules on Purchase by Citizens of Flats at the Disposal of MIDA Limited Liability Company on Preferential Terms, approved by the relevant Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, a flat will become the full-fledged property of a citizen from the day when the relevant Agreement is signed with him. Nevertheless, this Agreement will envisage a limitation of 3 years for selling, as well as renting and leasing that flat. The preferential sale of flats that are at the disposal of MIDA LLC is one of several steps made in the implementation of the overall social policy of the State, and aims to provide the social support to the people as an exception. It is not a secret that, once the flats, bought on preferential terms with a price lower than the average market price, will be put on sale, it can negatively influence the real estate market. There can also be cases of abuse. The said limitation has a goal to prevent such cases. The owners of low cost housing can obtain a right to sell, or lease, such property only after the agreed period of time has expired.

- Mr. Nuriyev, thank you for this detailed interview.

- I thank AZERTAC for its interest to the activities of the Agency. I would like to assure our readers that we will spare no efforts in creating the Low Cost Housing system and implementing social housing development projects with the guidance of our Head of State.

State Housing Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan

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