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Prefab housing estates to be modernized by 2013

A total of 80% of Hungary's prefab housing estates will be refurbished by 2013 with the help of European Union funding, regional development minister István Kolber said on Friday.

Under a government program designed to assist those who live in prefab housing estates, as many as 87,000 homes were refurbished in one year, Kolber said. The government announced in June 2005, within the frame of its Hundred Steps program, that it would set up a system of special grants and assisted loans to modernize and thermo-insulate units in Soviet-style housing estates, home to nearly one quarter of the country's population.
Interest in participation in the "Panel" program continues to be significant, therefore the government has invited another round of applications, to be submitted by September, Kolber said. All applications that meet the requirements will be accepted because the resources are available, he added.
This year refurbishments are financed from the Hungarian budget, but during the 2007-2013 budget period European Union funding will be available not only for home refurbishment, but also for the modernization of car parks, pavements and green areas, Kolber added.
In the "New Hungary" program, which is currently in preparation, prefab housing estate refurbishment will be handled together with city rehabilitation, he added.