Special housing act adopted
Last Thursday the Sejm adopted the act making it easier for developers to prepare and carry out housing projects and accompanying investments, the so-called special housing act.
The Act shall dramatically reduce the investment preparation time – from 5 years to one year – and shall liberate new land for investment purposes. The developers shall be able to build more and faster, provided that they meet determined urbanistic norms and are awarded the self-government’s consents. Our Customers informed us that they expect a lot from the aforementioned act.
Each developer shall have to present an urbanistic/architectural conception with all the information on the project, while the commune council (instead of the voivode – as the initial bill determined) shall make a decision on the implementation of the project by way of resolution. Its purpose is to express the maintenance of planistic power in the communes’ hands while providing their residents with the possibility to express opinions and report reservations on the proposed investment implementation place.
The Act defines i.a. distances of construction projects subject to the special act from nursery schools, schools, bus or tram stops, requirement to provide access to a public road and water piping, sewage pipeline and power grid. In the resolution on location of the respective housing project, council members shall be able to impose stricter standards, while in local urbanistic standards communes shall also be able to determine the number of parking spaces and oblige the investors to provide the residents with access to district heating. Projects are also to be carried out according to the study of conditions and directions of spatial development. It would not be possible to do it on the grounds of spatial development plans, cause they cover exclusively 16% of the area of Polish cities, and their annual growth corresponds to 1%, while all the cities are covered by the study. In a location determination request you will have to explain to which extent the scheduled project does not take into consideration the provisions of the local spatial development plan.
The special act shall enable to liberate dozens of plots of land, which have not been taken into account so far (usually due to a long-lasting procedure of amendment of spatial development plans) in housing construction industry, including arable land in administrative city boundaries, as well as post-rail, post-military and post-industrial land. Thanks to its entry into force, about 900 ha of arable land can change its farmland status. It is worth emphasizing that lots of post-industrial land (former public companies) whose current function is different than residential have enough technical infrastructure and good location and can successfully and reasonably soon (for this construction segment) be filled in with residential premises.
The special act shall be applicable for ten years. According to the legislator about 200 thousand flats are to be built each year, which means that 2 MM new flats shall be built within 10 years.
The effect of the new special act can be a decrease in flat prices. In our opinion, however, it will not happen – like some analysts believe – within one or one and half years since the entry in force of the aforementioned act, but rather in 3-5 years. This Act can provide yet another positive stimulus for PRS (private rented sector).
The act shall be now deliberated by the Senate and it is scheduled to enter in force this autumn.