Most residents of multi-apartment buildings are used to taking care of their own housing only. They believe that caring for common areas, internal building networks and adjacent territories is the concern of ZhEKs or managing companies. This is the opinion of the majority of Ukrainians who every day indifferently step over rubbish in their building hallways, sigh about the problems and accidents caused by the poor quality of communal services, and complain to the neighbors about  inactivity of communal employees, local authorities, government and deputies. The permanent search for those guilty of their unpleasant stay in a multi-apartment building prevents people from noticing the most important: inactivity and passive observation lead to the gradual deterioration of their common residential stock, and their apartments within this housing stock depreciate too. In fact, it is possible to improve the situation, though it is not easy: you should start with yourself. Start with the cleanliness of the staircase, with the wish to live in a light and warm building. With useful actions that will gradually re-program your habitual personal inactivity and will replace your neighbors’ indifference with responsible behavior, and later – with an active citizenship. This format of thinking is inherent in those who strive for positive changes, create Homeowners Associations (hereinafter – HOA) and care for comfort in their multi-apartment buildings as obstinately, as in own apartments.


But how to get all the way from realizing personal responsibility to uniting with your like-minded neighbors for a comfortable life in your multi-apartment building? What to start with? Where to obtain support and advice? In order to give Ukrainians exhaustive answers to these questions, the USAID Municipal Energy Reform Project (hereinafter – the USAID Project) opened in its partner cities thirteen Homeowners Association and Clean Energy Resource Centers (hereinafter – RC). Their main task is work with the activists and initiative groups willing to manage the quality of life in their multi-apartment buildings, willing to establish HOAs and implement the energy efficiency measures, and thus reduce their energy consumption and figures in the communal bills.


With USAID Project support, the RC consultants attend free trainings, seminars, conferences, and round table meetings devoted to the issues of HOA establishment and management, the implementation of energy efficiency measures and “clean energy” projects in the multi-apartment buildings, and how to attract funds for their implementation. In total, the USAID Project organized over three years 20 trainings and outreach events that were attended by about 600 participants. Those were not only the RC teams, but also HOA chairmen from the Project partner cities, representatives of the relevant departments and sections of the city councils, commercial banks, and producers of the energy efficient materials and equipment.

For efficient outreach work with the city residents, the USAID Project provided the RCs with office equipment and audio-visual aids. In addition, all RCs are provided with brochures created by the Project on the request of the activists, among them: “How to Establish HOA?”, “Our Building – Our Property”, “Energy Saving: What to Do and Where to Get Money”, “Why Tariffs Grow”, “Energy Saving Tips” and others. Every RC also has information stands devoted to energy efficient materials and equipment. The latter were provided by the partners of the USAID Project. All these resources are widely used for educational purposes, as the RCs provide consultations and hold outreach events on the legal, technical and financial issues on HOA establishment and activities, the introduction of energy efficient technologies and the implementation of clean energy projects in multi-apartment buildings.

The Centers are actually unique platforms for reforming the housing and communal services sector, as understanding and experience of the most efficient way towards a responsible owner and communal services consumer are formed here. The RC employees work actively and permanently improve their knowledge at the events conducted by the USAID Project. It is possible to receive in the RC a qualified explanation of the main laws and by-laws regulating HOA activities, examples of the HOA meeting minutes and charters, as well as contracts on procurement of equipment and fulfillment of works. The RC employees may advise on the types and technical characteristics of the energy efficient equipment, materials and technologies, tell about the phases of their implementation and use, recommend potential suppliers of certified equipment and contractors. Those who have already established HOAs can better understand, with the help of RC employees, the existing state and municipal programs of financial support for the energy efficiency measures, and can receive information on the banks offering the relevant credit products.


In the last two years (2015-2016) – after the adoption of Law 417 “On the Specifics of Exercising Ownership Right in Multi-Apartment Building”, – over 12,000 citizens and initiative groups willing to establish a HOA contacted the RCs. Due to the support and active work of the consultants, 3,182 HOAs appeared in the USAID Project partner cities over this period of time. This is more than a third of all newly established HOAs in Ukraine. The leading positions belong to Zaporizhzhia (730 HOAs), Dnipro (539 HOAs) and Lviv (455 HOAs).

683 training events
2 659 information meetings
3 182 newly established HOAs
12 142 addresses of the groups (residents)

For many people, establishing a HOA means only beginning of the way towards implementingf ambitious projects to improve their comfort of living. Those residents who inherited neglected buildings from ZhEKs have decided to modernize them and started to actively make use of the state program of “warm loans” which is supported by a number of Ukraine’s state banks. Within the terms of this program, the state compensates the HOAs for 40 to 70% of cost of the energy efficient equipment and materials that were used for modernizing the buildings. The city councils have also taken part and have introduced municipal programs which help the compensate HOAs for the interest on “warm loans”.

In some cities, the municipalities took things a step further. For example, in Lutsk, in addition to the financial support program and Resource Center,  the first in Ukraine Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving Center also opened. Here one can get help in understanding which window is just “metal-plastic”, and which deserves to be called “energy efficient”. The RC can demonstrate on a window model cross section and explain to visitors how many chambers there should be in the energy efficient window, what types of glass coating there are and how they can help keep heat inside your home, as well as what is important for choosing the window hardware or sealing cord. In addition, the RC consultants help their visitors in choosing the construction materials for heat insulation of the facades of multi-apartment buildings, as sometimes people are unaware that those can be absolutely different for a “khrushchovka” or panel building.

The efforts of all the stakeholders – RC consultants, city councils, state and the USAID Project – open endless opportunities for HOAs and allow them not only to change in a positive way the indifference and the current attitude of many Ukrainians towards common property, but also to form new energy saving owners. The work goes on and the number of new HOAs keeps growing. With each new HOA, our Resource Centers contribute to the upgrade of Ukraine’s residential stock which should be preserved for our children and grandchildren – the future of this country.