Old Housing Fund of Armenia: Unsafe Buildings

Old Housing Fund of Armenia: Unsafe Buildings

About 90% of multifamily buildings of Armenia were built in Soviet-era. Most of them are already 50 years old. Some buildings were affected by 1988 earthquake, others became dilapidated for time reasons. Besides, at Soviet times, the buildings were designed and built for 7-point earthquake intensity resistance. After 1988 earthquake in Spitak the complex of regulatory and technical documents on protection of buildings and structures from seismic impacts has been revised, and now the houses are designed for 9-point earthquake intensity resistance. Therefore, we have a large part of the "aging" housing fund, which needs improvement or demolition.

About 550 Multifamily Buildings are in Poor Technical Condition

The picture of the technical condition of the Armenian housing fund is not complete. The last survey on buildings technical condition was conducted in 2003. According to the preliminary estimation about 6 billion AMD (about USD 13 million) is required for a new large technical survey, which is impossible to do now using public funds due to other key issues requiring more priority solution.

According to the last data 550 out of 19,000 multifamily buildings in our country have insufficient technical conditions, of which 500 have 3rd degree damage (in this case reinforcement and recovery works are strongly required), and 50 have 4th degree damage and are subject to demolition. Moreover, after resettlement of the population of 4th degree damaged buildings to avoid further illegal occupancy, demolition of these buildings is mandatory.

To avoid unpredictable destruction of the buildings, the government supports residents of 4th degree damaged buildings. “36 unsafe buildings have been repopulated since 2000, more than 1300 families and about 1200 private house residents’ issues have been resolved. As of January 1st 2014, in Yerevan the problem of all 4th degree damaged buildings has been solved.

The situation is different in provinces, because here the funds required for the construction of new multifamily buildings often exceed several times the amount of money required to provide financial support for obtaining an apartment. That is the reason why in provinces the government mostly choose the way of providing financial support to owners to buy new apartments. Greater spending is also required for reinforcement in case of 3-degree damaged buildings. At the same time, these costs often exceed the costs of construction of similar building. In such cases the demolition of the building and the resettlement of the population are considered the most appropriate option,” – said Tanya Arzumanyan, the Head of the Housing Fund Management and Utility Infrastructure Department of the Urban Development Committee.

The Owners are Responsible for the Maintenance of Their Real Estate

From legal point of view, the owners have to take care of the building's maintenance through the management body (condominium) and make accurate payments for the maintenance of their joint property. Building managers, from their side, must carry out relevant property inspection, find the issues and organize appropriate works in accordance with priorities established by the owners and at the expense of the collected amount. Unfortunately, irregular payments of residents on the one hand, and often inefficient activity of property management company on the other hand leads to deterioration of multifamily buildings.

The owners of multifamily buildings should be aware, that regular payments and appropriate maintenance of their estate will guarantee a safeness and reliability for their families, which can be possible only through honest execution of their own obligations and rights and through effective cooperation with property management company.