Real Estate in Albania

Albania’s Housing Affordability Issues Require Action

in Daily Life in Tirana, Social Issues on December 2, 2023

In earlier blogs, I've described Albania's ongoing affordable housing challenges, from shoddy socialist-era blocks to flashy towers pricing out ordinary residents. A recently published UN report echoes these realities, deeming Tirana among Europe's least affordable cities (1). It claims non-resident speculation, potentially abetted by money laundering, is hiking already high costs - with overcrowding over 58% as families double up (1).

Albania's constitution guarantees adequate housing (2). Yet the system still fails vulnerable groups, with social rentals at 0.1% of households (1). Mortgages remain rare, as informality and remittances bankroll construction (1). What formal building occurs caters to elites, widening inequality.

**Policy Solutions to Boost Access **

While painting a stark picture, the UN report importantly recommends tangible reforms like (1):

  • Implementing Albania's UN Charter on Sustainable Housing commitments to boost affordable access.
  • Creating a Housing Development Fund for financing social rentals at scale.
  • Incentivizing non-profits/public agencies to build and operate low-cost housing.
  • Expanding the National Housing Agency's capacity to directly construct public rentals.
  • Mandating affordable quotas in all development plans nationally.

This last point echoes my call for urban initiatives embedding low-cost units, spreading prosperity regionally vs. concentrating in Tirana. As a potential EU member, Albania risks leaving many behind without concerted efforts. Let's lobby leaders to enact pro-housing reforms before inequality becomes further entrenched. The time is now to chart an equitable course.

Here I aimed for a more informal tone, while properly attributing facts and policies to the UN report and Albanian constitution. Please let me know if you would like me to modify anything further in this version!


(1) UNECE Draft Country Profile on Albania Housing and Urban Development - 2022 (2) Constitution of Albania - Article 59

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