Aliona Babak on why there are no reasons to be afraid of condominiums
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A systematic campaign to discredit condominiums has been launched: they frighten people that condominiums are very expensive, there will be no repairs and maintenance works done anymore, and from July 1 people will forever remain alone with their problems. This is an outright lie.

During all these years local building-utilities administrator offices, known as ZhEKs, had financial and information monopoly – people didn’t even have the right to know how and on what money is spent, and the money was systematically plundered at the same time. Now they are trying to keep the cash flows in every way and are telling “horror stories”, says “Samopomich” deputy, Aliona Babak.

The first myth is that condominiums are very expensive. This is not true: people will continue to pay as much as they paid earlier to ZhEKs. But at the same time residents will have the full picture and all the reports on the expenditures, as well as they will be able to be actively involved in all the processes, in particular in decision making. For example, to decide to replace all the light bulbs with economic ones by spending a certain amount of money on that but then paying less for electricity. Residents may choose to allocate more resources and manage their homes on their own. But this a general rightnot an obligation.

The second “horror story” is that there will be no major repairs any more. Firstly, the right to get financing for the first post-privatization overhaul remains – for this matter the residents of one or more houses just need to contact the local council with the requirement to finance such repairs (in accordance with paragraph 7 of article 10 of the Law of Ukraine “On privatization of public housing”). Secondly, since the local budgets have money now, people can turn to local authorities with a proposal to make a target program, for example, to finance the development or overhaul of the entire district. Importantly, residents of private homes may also take part in such a program, because only about 50% of people live in apartment houses, while access to resources must be equal for all.

And the last lie is that people will be left alone with their problems. If condominium is not created and the management company is not chosen by July 1, it is not a big deal. The local authorities then will choose operating companies for such houses on a competitive basis (this might be as well the same reorganized housing office). And if then people get their bearings and decide to choose another company or to create a condominium – they are welcome, there will always be the opportunity to do this.

Thus there is no reason to be afraid. It is necessary to learn how to take control of your property and your money. Condominium is a tool of effective money management, which was previously uncontrollably disappearing in ZhEKs.

Alona Babak
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