State rents too high, demand is set to be low
Rents in state-subsidized rental housing, presented on Monday by Deputy PM Štefan Holý (Sme rodina), included a subsidy from employers totaling €360 per month. It stood at €658 in Bratislava and €391 in Prešov for a 3-room apartment. However, these subsidies are likely to be provided by only a few large firms, such as Jaguar and Volvo, and the state does not plan to provide them at all. Without the subsidies, the rent is at the level of commercial rent, although investors in rental housing will receive state support, in particular they will be exempt from VAT. Even after the uncertain subsidy from employers, the rent is above the "affordable housing" threshold―30% of the household's gross income. In Bratislava, Holý's rent would be 43% (for a 2-room apartment). This puts into question the meaning of the state rental housing scheme, as well as the demand for rental housing.