Housing central topic of International Youth Day in Slovenia
Young generations have a much harder time accessing housing than those before them, with access depending almost entirely on the parents' socio-economic status, youth officials told the press, arguing that an average employed young person could no longer rent or buy a normal apartment.
"Along with non-profit rental apartments, the young also want a chance to buy, since many of them, facing low-quality employment, see home ownership as the only guarantee for when they will be old," Anja Fortuna, the head of the Youth Council, said.
Klemen Peran, the head of the Slovenian Student Organisation (ŠOS), said problems already started in university, as accommodation in student homes is only provided for 13% of the students.
Most study outside of their home town and at a least a third depend on the market, where prices increased drastically in the last year.
"Without additional resources and budget funds the situation will only get worse. This will then encroach on the right to education, since only the wealthy will be able to afford to study," Peran said.
Youth organisations have issued several calls to the government, but have not been happy with the response, saying all responsibility had been relegated to the Environment and Spatial Planning Ministry.
They demand more budget funding to address housing issues, a greater leveraging of housing funds, an increase in the number of public flats, the construction of public student homes and the regulation and limiting of online flat rentals.
Meanwhile, the housing issue also stood out at today's reception for the young organised by the Education Ministry and the Government Office for the Youth.
While the meeting highlighted the need for an intrasectoral approach and for dialogue with the young, Education Ministry State Secretary Martina Vuk agreed housing had become a burning issue.
She pointed to the phenomenon of young people continuing to live with their parents and mentioned "a fairly long period where there has unfortunately been no investment funds for the construction of student homes".
The second major problem is the real estate bubble, she noted, saying that housing policy in general would need to be re-examined.