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Society

Greece Plans Affordable Apartments for Young, Built on Public Land

ATHENS – With many Greeks unable to find apartments or homes they can afford as rents have soared and mortgages difficult to obtain, the New Democracy government is going ahead with a scheme to have more built on public land with private funds.

They would have relatively lower rents and the aim is to help young people 18-39 and families in that age range who have been reluctant to have children because of low wages and high costs in Greece.

The units will be done by using public properties through public-private partnerships, or PPPs, with a first phase of unused public buildings being renovated instead of sitting almost abandoned, Athens filled with thousands of them, including privately owned.

Later this year bids will be put out to contractors to build on undeveloped public land plots to finish a first round of new structures by 2025 and then renters will be selected using social criteria such as income and need.

Reports said 98 plots of land have been chosen with a total area of 155 acres, one-third in the prefecture of Attica, which includes Athens and is the country’s largest and most heavily-populated region.

Other areas include Kifissia, a rich northern Athens suburb, Painia, Larissa, Volos and Xanthi, the government aiming to fill a canyon of a lack of affordable housing during a time when the economy is growing and bringing in more revenues.

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