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Warsaw. The city takes over the Przyjaźń housing estate

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The Przyjaźń estate will continue to be used for residential purposes, and the neglected houses located there will be gradually renovated – assures the capital city hall and presents an action plan after the return of the estate by the previous tenant – the Academy of Special Education.

– Residents, students and entrepreneurs can sleep peacefully. The Mayor of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski, decided to provide everyone with emergency assistance – so that none of the residents would suffer after the expiry of the lease agreement. We want this estate to be alive, full of residents, but also to be safe – said the vice-president of Warsaw, Tomasz Bratek, quoted in the city hall's announcement, at the same time assuring that none of the estate's residents will have to leave the premises immediately after the city takes over the property.

Osiedle Przyjaźń is a complex of residential buildings located in Bemowo. It was built in the 1950s and served mainly by the builders of the Palace of Culture and Science. Over time, it turned into a place of life for the academic community – both students and employees of Warsaw universities – with its own unique character. The land is owned by the State Treasury and managed by the Mayor of Warsaw as starosta. For many years, the Przyjaźń estate was leased by the Academy of Special Education, which managed the current affairs of the estate and was responsible for the sublease of premises. The current lease agreement expires on May 9, 2024. The university was not interested in continuing cooperation. The property will be returned to the city after the lease expires.

READ ALSO: The return of the Left to the Warsaw Council. There is one surprise

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Currently, approximately 1.5 thousand lease agreements for premises located in the estate are in force, of which over a thousand are agreements with students (dormitories) and nearly 90 with entrepreneurs (commercial premises). Most of these contracts were concluded for a fixed period and expire on May 9. As Vice-President Tomasz Bratek assured during the press conference, the intention of the Warsaw authorities is for the estate to continue to be inhabited.

Solutions for various groups of tenants

The town hall has prepared support for tenants.

For students it is possible to conclude an ad hoc contract for three months, which will allow for a peaceful end to the academic year. This is the maximum period allowed by law for which it is possible to conclude a contract “on the spot”. Nearly 670 students have already taken advantage of this opportunity by reporting to the special information point opened by the city. After this time, the dormitories will not disappear from the Przyjaźń Housing Estate. They will be conducted jointly by the city and Warsaw universities. Currently, the town hall is developing detailed rules for renting and running dormitories – together with the conference of rectors and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The new rules will apply from the new academic year.

In the case of residents with contracts for an indefinite period this is the possibility of continuing the lease on the existing terms and conditions, with the obligations arising from the concluded contracts being taken over by the State Treasury Property Management Board, which is a municipal institution.

In the case of residents with fixed-term contracts and entrepreneurs renting commercial premises However, it is possible to stay in the current premises also after May 9. Tenants will be offered two solutions: ad hoc contracts signed “on the spot” for a period of three months, as well as contracts for a period of up to one year, concluded in a slightly more time-consuming non-tender procedure – based on a public list informing about the intention to rent the premises.

– The legal situation of each tenant requires a thorough examination, each contract concluded by APS may be slightly different and have different consequences for the city or for the tenant. That is why we want to consider the case of each resident individually and we want to talk to each of them. After many interventions, APS only provided us with a list of tenants, we are still waiting for the lease agreements. I hope that we will receive them by May 9, added Tomasz Bratek.

SEE: Students were supposed to move out of the estate, the capital city hall reacts. “We are surprised by the university's behavior.”

“The cost of the work is estimated at hundreds of millions of zlotys”

As stated in the announcement, the city authorities' intention is to restore the buildings to their former glory. Currently, many of them are impossible to use. They are in terrible technical condition. Many of them are dilapidated with mold on the walls and asbestos roofs. The underground infrastructure also requires modernization and repairs. The cost of these works is estimated at hundreds of millions of zlotys.

– As soon as the university returns the property to us, we will begin a detailed assessment of the technical condition of the houses. The inventory of underground installations has already been completed. In the next step, we will determine the scope of necessary work – assured Vice-President Tomasz Bratek. – These are huge amounts, exceeding the subsidies we receive from the central budget for the maintenance of facilities owned by the State Treasury. Perhaps we will also be able to obtain support from funds from the National Reconstruction Plan, added the vice president.

The renovation is to be spread over many years, and its course will depend on external financing obtained.

For those employed in the construction of the Palace of Culture

The Przyjaźń housing estate is located in the area of ​​Górczewska and Konarskiego streets in Warsaw's Bemowo district. It was established in 1952 for workers employed in the construction of the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. There are two types of wooden houses: hotel pavilions and single-family houses in two colors: blue-white and blue-black. In November last year we reported that the estate has been placed under conservation protection.

“The buildings were made of wood. They were supposed to come from demolished barracks that stood in a POW camp near Olsztynek during the occupation. However, the Polish government imported some of the houses from Finland using coal,” the conservator said at the time.

The Przyjaźń housing estate in Jelonki in Warsaw in 1961National Digital Archives

The estate also included, among others: cinema, canteen, club, bathhouse, medical clinic, boiler room and two sports fields. Four thousand trees and 40,000 bushes were planted and eight kilometers of internal roads and streets were built. The estate was fenced. In order to discharge sewage from it, the “Jelonki” Canal Pump Station was opened in 1952.

They gave the estate to students

At the peak of the construction of the Palace of Culture and Science, 4.5 thousand people lived in the estate. After construction was completed in May 1955, the estate was handed over by the city authorities to the Ministry of Higher Education for student housing for Warsaw universities. In September 1955, approximately three thousand students and academics lived there. The estate was then named “Przyjaźń”.

On an area of ​​32 hectares, 33 student dormitories, nine assistant hotels, 19 assistant blocks, 77 single-family houses for university employees and two workers' hotels were built. Access to the center was provided by two bus lines. Every year, the estate began to organize a student festival – Jelonkalia.

In 1978, 1,190 assistants and employees of Warsaw universities and their families and 1,200 students lived in the estate. In the 1990s, several student houses and the town hall of the Bemowo district were built on the side of Powstańców Śląskich Street.

Nowadays, the former housing estate of the builders of the Palace of Culture and Science consists of two parts: multi-family buildings serve as student homes, and single-family houses house academic workers or their descendants.

Main photo source: Mateusz Szmelter / tvnwarszawa.pl

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