A study conducted at the request of the Estonian economy ministry indicates that there are nearly 500 empty or half-empty apartment building in Estonia, LETA/Public Broadcasting reports.
The aim of the study was to map the state of problematic apartment buildings. Apartment buildings that have three or more apartments and where at least 25% of apartments are empty were considered problematic.
The poll was conducted in 72 towns and parishes. The amount of such buildings is the biggest in the South East Estonian town Valga and in North Eastern Lääne-Virumaa county. The study recommends supporting local municipalities financially to move people in the buildings that are in a better state and demolish the empty buildings. The state could help renovate the buildings where people move to.
Economy ministry construction and housing department head Margus Sarmet said that the biggest problem is that all apartments are privatised and thus it is difficult for local municipalities and the state to make changes.
Eesti Päevaleht puts the number of such buildings at 476 and says that the study recommends demolishing around a half of them and renovating the rest. The study also makes a proposal to pay a compensation of a thousand euros to people who agree to move out of the half-empty buildings so that they could be demolished.