Interview with Samir Nuriyev, Director of the State Housing Development Agency under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, by the Azertac News Agency10/06/2016

Samir Nuriyev, Director of the State Housing Development Agency, under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, created by the Decree dated 11 April 2016, signed by the Head of State, Ilham Aliyev, to meet the housing needs of the country’s citizens, improve their housing conditions and ensure the construction of apartment complexes in modern architectural styles in line with environmental and energy efficiency requirements, has provided answers to Azertac’s questions about the work of this new organization.

- The State Housing Development Agency is a new organization. What’s the main objective in creating this body?

- The main objective of the Agency is to improve the conditions for Azerbaijani citizens to buy an apartment on preferential terms by organizing the construction of apartment complexes and other facilities, and to implement the State policy and regulations in the fields of planning and projecting urban development and architecture.

- Which work has already been done in organizing the Agency’s activities?

- Since its first working day, the Agency started comprehensive work in all of its activities. First of all, we approved the internal organizational structure of the Agency, and recruited the personnel in line with the new staff list. At the same time, until the completion of the process of obtaining the administrative building from the relevant State authority, the Agency’s offices have been temporarily situated at 3, Sabir Street, Sabayil District. Besides that, the Director has been appointed to the MIDA Limited Liability Company which is acting under the Agency and the customer of the low-cost apartments. Work has started to arrange its organizational structure and organize its work.

- Has the work of the main part of the Agency’s activities commenced? – I.e. the construction of affordable apartments for citizens.

- Indeed, this work was started by the Agency from the first day of its creation. The organization of the construction of apartment complexes is a complicated process, which requires a comprehensive approach. In order to effectively conduct the work, first of all, meetings were held with the relevant State departments and local executive authorities. At the same time, the process commenced for the selection of sites for the apartment complexes. So far, sites have been inspected, mainly in the Binagadi, Surakhany and Garadakh districts. Preliminary evaluation has been conducted against different criteria (such as parameters, topography, existence of transport and other infrastructure etc). Besides that, the possibility of obtaining sites in Ganja, Sumgayit, Lenkoran and Masally cities has also been reviewed. Those lands have been inspected. In general, the preference will be given to those sites that are suitable for construction of apartment complexes from the point of view of urban development, the proximity to business centers and having all possibilities for building engineering and communication lines. As the selected sites will be given to MIDA LLC by the relevant executive power authority, the architectural, planning and project work will start immediately.

- Which social groups are expected to obtain these apartments and how their access to such apartments will be secured?

- In recent years, the fast economic growth of the country has given a strong push to the development of the construction sector. Private companies have built apartment complexes in our country, and it contributed to the improvement of the housing conditions of the population. However, the large size of these apartments in newly constructed buildings, and the high sale prices limit the possibilities of middle and low income people to buy them. The main aim of the Agency is to increase the access of the country’s citizens, representing those social groups, such as mainly young people and young families, to the apartments in buildings due to be built. First of all, the size of the apartments to be built, with the support of the Agency, will not be big in accordance with the category of the economic class. At the same time, these apartments will be provided in full repair status to citizens. A particular attention will be paid to the façade design of the buildings. There will be a possibility to pay for the future apartments on the basis of long term monthly payment terms. It is planned that citizens will become full owners of their apartments at the end of the payment period by paying a monthly amount that will not be high i.e., at the same level as rental costs. Currently, relevant calculations are underway in this field. Today, experts are giving their opinions about these sale terms and the prices for the low-cost apartments. But, I have to point out that the unveiling of such details will be possible only after the completion of the evaluations of all the technical and economic parameters.

- Does the Agency study world practice in the building of low-cost apartments?

- Many countries of the world have considerable expertise in meeting the requirements for improving housing conditions and building low-cost apartments. We studied the expertise of Germany, Singapore, Turkey, Russia and other countries. In the middle of May 2016, we had meetings with the head and members of the supervisory board of the Housing Development Administration (TOKI), which, since 1984 in Turkey, have been building low-cost apartment complexes. We visited Ankara, the capital of Turkey. We studied the projects realized and achievements attained in this sector. Besides that, during the visit, we also met the professors conducting scientific research work in the building of low-cost apartments at the Research Center for Urban Development and Architecture of the Middle East Technical University. We are certain that studying the world practice will create opportunities to build and implement more effectively the work of the Agency. I shall also say that the public will be constantly updated about the work done.

State Housing Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan

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