In the cities, several generations living together in tiny apartments, usually without heat and health. Many homes are located in buildings dating from the Soviet era, of poor quality and require extensive renovation. (2)
Families in rural areas live in raw brick or clay houses with dirt floors. In cities, several generations cram into tiny apartments which oftern lack heating, sanitation and clean water. (2)
Right to housing
Tajikistan’s constitution guarantees the rights to housing : “Every person has the right to housing. This right is ensured by means of construction of State, public, cooperative and private housing.”
The Housing Code of the Republic of Tajikistan :
Article 1. Right of citizens of Tajikistan to the dwelling
According to the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan each citizen has the right to the dwelling. This right is provided with the way of implementation and protection of the state, public, cooperative and individual (private) housing construction. The law prohibits the actions interfering citizens in implementation of their right to housing.
Article 2. Tasks of the housing legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan
Tasks of the housing legislation of the Republic of Tajikistan is adjustment of the housing relations for the purpose of providing guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan of the right of citizens on the dwelling, proper use and safety of housing stock, and also strengthening of legality in the field of the housing relations.
Tajikistan–once a country plagued by civil war and outdated housing became a haven for investors looking to build business centres and multi-story apartment buildings. However, this positive development has resulted in a wave of forced evictions of people from their homes. (1)
Ikrom Teshaev was one of 100 people who lost his home after city officials in Dushanbe, Tajikistan decided to build a park, as part of a master plan. Teshaev said that he was not offered alternative housing, or compensation and many child evictees were not able to attend school for a long period of time. “Our houses were demolished within two days and we were left literally on the street,” said Teshaev, who is a professor of the Agrarian University of Tajikistan. Teshaev and other victims filed complaints to the court on several occasions; however each time the response was the same–there was no violation of the law, as the houses did not have the proper permits, said Teshaev. “Often evictees are not informed about plans to demolish houses in advance; they have no opportunity to receive legal advice and they do not know their rights,” said Sergey Romanov, a lawyer and Director of the NGO, Independent Center for Human Rights Protection. (1)
In other cases, when evictees are provided with alternative accommodation and compensation, these alternatives are often not equal in value to the destroyed homes, Romanov said. “This demonstrates the need to bring in independent experts to assess the value of properties.” Romanov noted that the issue of forced evictions is a growing problem not only in Tajikistan, but all throughout Central Asia. “An important next step would be the development of the comprehensive national housing strategy,” said Lilia Zaharieva, UN Human Rights Adviser in Tajikistan, adding that such a strategy should include a substantial component on social housing, ensure consultations with the people, and also aim at helping the most vulnerable groups, including women, children, the elderly, migrants and people with disabilities. (1)
- Housing and Land Rights Violation Database in each country (Housing and Land Network – HIC): http://hlrn.org/welcome_violation.php#.VD-IVCi7_vQ
- Zero Evictions Campaign (International Alliance of Inhabitants): http://www.habitants.org/zero_evictions_campaign
- Data sets on agricultural land grabbing in the world (GRAIN): https://www.grain.org/bulletin_board/entries/4429-new-data-sets-on-land-grabbing
- The Online Public Database on Land Deals – Global Observatory (Land Matrix): http://landmatrix.org/en/
- Habitat for Humanity in Tajikistan has been developing innovative earthquake-proof building techniques using locally available mulberry branches. (2)
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS
PRIVATIZATION OF HOUSING STOCK (1995)
In 1995, a law of the republic of Tajikistan was about privatization of housing stock of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Article 1. Privatization of housing is performed by free transfer or sale to the property of citizens on the voluntary basis of premises occupied by them in the state housing stock.
Article 2. The citizens occupying premises in houses of the state housing stock on the employment contract or lease, living full age members of the family having the right with the consent of all jointly to acquire these rooms in the property on the conditions provided by this Law, other regulations of the Republic of Tajikistan.
INVESTMENT IN CONSTRUCTION
Investments in housing construction have grown steadily during the past five years. However, public investments in housing did not exceed 6% in 2008. In addition, there is a lack of mechanisms to facilitate the construction of affordable housing. Therefore, while there was a slight increase in the housing stock in the recent past, it has not kept pace with population growth. Apartment construction has been mostly concentrated in the largest cities and primarily targeted at the luxury segment of the market. In 2009, in the city of Dushanbe alone, new housing construction was 20% of the total new housing output in the country. About 80% of the construction in rural areas is done primarily by the owners themselves. In such a situation, self-built housing becomes the easiest and most affordable way for the population to improve their situation. In 2008, individual houses built by tenants accounted for 87% of the total construction sector. There is an overwhelming demand for new affordable multi-story housing. However, the supply of such housing stock is insufficient due to the lack of financial mechanisms to support the construction companies. Residential construction is financed mainly by the savings of the future unit owners. (3)
The Government has no policy to develop the rental housing sector. According to the Housing code the Government is responsible for providing social rental housing for households in need. However, such dwellings still could be subject to free-of-charge privatization. Today only 7,5% of the total housing stock is public. The demand significantly exceeds the supply in this sector, especially in large cities. The main problems that inhibit the development of the sector are the absence of protection of the rights of tenants and landlords, the low quality of dwellings and the lack of utilities. (3)
Quality of housing
House building almost stopped during the civil war of 1992-97 and subsequently half built homes are scattered throughout the country, while existing stock deteriorates through neglect. Housing problems are complicated by frequent natural disasters such as earthquakes and mudslides. (2)
These problems must be added the frequent earthquakes and mudslides, including existing housing suffer. For example, following the 2006 earthquake, many houses remained without doors and without windows. (2)
Informal housing / Slum / Homeless
ROLE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
The Government does not regard the housing problem as its highest priority. The State must deal with more pressing needs, including health care and education. (3)
The construction sector is heavily regulated in Tajikistan. The Government has yet to create a conceptual framework for forming a residential mortgage financing system. As the International Finance Corporation (IFC) mentioned,60 the State has not defined its role in the development of this system, nor has it identified the elements necessary to develop and support the residential mortgage industry. (3)
Concerning the technical aspects of the legal framework, regulations based on those of the Soviet era still remain in force, with amendments made to meet modern requirements (e.g. anti-seismic construction, reduction in water and heat consumption). In the post-Soviet era, new technical codes for building regulations were adopted, including the Residential Buildings Code (2005), the Anti-Seismic Construction Code (2007) and the Town Planning Code (2008). (3)
Bibliography & Sitography
- United Nations Human Rights – Tajikistan revamps housing legislation – http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/Tajikistanrevampshousinglegislation.aspx
- Habitat for Humanity Tajikistan – http://www.habitatforhumanity.org.uk/Tajikistan
- UNECE – CHAP III “Housing financial and legal framework”, p31-39 – http://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/hlm/prgm/cph/countries/tajikistan/cp.tajikistan.chap3.pdf
FROM CIVIL SOCIETY
Actors from civil society
- HABITAT FOR HUMANITY TAJIKISTAN = humanitarian non-profit association whose aim is to eradicate Habitat poverty and homelessness. To do this, they build and renovate housing worldwide, offer packages of micro-credit and loans, help clean up homes, advocate for affordable housing for all. In Tajikistan, they help the completion of half-built houses, help renovating buildings dating from the Soviet era, propose solutions for homes located in seismic zone and imagined water filters where it is not potable. http://www.habitatforhumanity.org.uk/Tajikistan