12:52 08.11.2013

Members of homeowner associations and housing construction cooperatives asking to settle granting of benefits for house maintenance

4 min read

Kyiv, November 8 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Members of homeowner associations and housing construction cooperatives have asked the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to pass a draft cabinet resolution on the provision of benefits and subsidies to the associations and cooperatives to refund expenses on house and building surrounding ground maintenance that was rejected earlier, restoring the constitutional rights of members of homeowner associations and housing construction cooperatives to such benefits.

Representatives of the National Council for the Establishment and Support of Homeowner Associations under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine published the announcement at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine on Thursday.

"The problem is that today local executive committees demand evidence of the actual expenses of homeowner associations [for the provision of benefits and subsidies], but this is not in line with Ukrainian law," Deputy Chair of the National Council for the Establishment and Support of Homeowner Associations under the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine Kateryna Chyzhyk said.

She said that this concerns the requirements of local authorities to approve tariffs, while homeowner associations use the notion of "fees" in their operation.

The draft resolution proposed that a single mechanism for the provision of benefits and subsidies, taking into account fees for servicing each square meter of buildings and building surrounding grounds, but no more than the highest tariff for such services on a separate territory is introduced all over Ukraine for over 17,000 homeowner associations operating as of November 2013 with around five million of participants, Chyzhyk added.

She said that the draft cabinet resolution agreed with all profile ministries and earlier rejected by the cabinet was included in the agenda of the cabinet meeting on November 13.

A member of the National Council for Homeowner Associations in Lutsk, Roman Bondaruk, said that the absence of common requirements for the provision of benefits to homeowner association and housing construction cooperative members has resulted in the fact that local authorities had unjustifiably cut the size of benefits by 30%.

Bondaruk also said that constitutional rights of homeowner association and housing construction cooperative members are violated compared with the public serviced by municipal housing offices, a the latter have the right to set tariffs for servicing buildings and building surrounding grounds, and local authorities there are grounds to grant benefits to the said people.

A member of the National Council for Homeowner Associations in Kharkiv Yulia Samoilova said that earlier local authorities tried to settle the unregulated situation with the benefits for homeowner associations and homeowner association members received subsidies, while after fines by the audit department for the non-targeted use of budget funds, they stopped using this practice.

Every year homeowner associations and housing construction cooperatives members in Kharkiv receive UAH 8 million less subsidies than guaranteed by the Constitution and Ukrainian law, Samoilova said.

A member of the National council for Homeowner Associations and coordinator of the housing and utilities programs of the Opora civil network Tetiana Boiko said that in Kyiv the issue with a complex legal case in legal acts on benefits to homeowner associations and housing construction cooperatives is settled by the Main Data-Processing Center municipal enterprise via equalizing the fees to the tariffs.

Thus, homeowner associations and housing construction cooperatives in the regions of Ukraine are deprived of the chance to independently service their houses and house surrounding grounds, and expect that they will legally receive benefits and subsidies, Boiko added.

The representative of the National Council also said that the unregulated issue on the provision of benefits and subsidies to homeowner associations and housing construction cooperatives members do not promote the further creation of the associations and cooperatives as institutions of effective homeowner associations.

The absence of guarantees from the state on the provision of benefits to associations and cooperatives members affects the attitude of the public to the associations and cooperatives, and residents with benefits refuse to join the associations and cooperatives, the representatives of the National Council said.

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