The Lithuanian Chamber of Housing notes that population activity and communication are the most important guarantors of smart housing management. It has been observed that researchers analyse housing problems from an economic and engineering point of view, and housing is rarely studied as an important component of social policy or the welfare state.
Active participation and a spirit of cooperation are important
“Summarizing the housing issues that arise in practice, I note that this is usually due to lack of communication or population activity. It is important to understand that you are the owner of your own. Activity and communication are the cornerstone in housing management issues,” says Daiva Matonienė, President of Lithuanian Chamber of Housing. Previous studies carried out in post-communist countries show that in many of these countries, despite some of their economic and social differences, there was a highly centralised and comprehensive state control based on a system of housing and housing infrastructure development, distribution, use, and operation. This may be one of the reasons that influenced the lack of active participation of residents of apartment buildings.
According to the Law on The Communities of the Republic of Lithuania, it is mandatory to submit an annual activity report to residents once a year, during the first quarter of the year. Vilma Samaitienė, member of the Lithuanian Chambr of Housing, Head of Kėdainiai Apartment House Association, notes that reporting more often reduces the risk of ambiguity and miscommunication. “My practice is this: we report monthly. We are not obliged to do so, but this raises fewer questions. The General Meeting shall also be compulsory only once a year if there is a need to organise them more frequently. It should be noted that often an insufficient number of people gather for meetings, if only reports are submitted, only a quarter come. This year we did not organize a meeting due to the pandemic,” says Vilma Samaitienė.
V. Samaitienė supports the possibilities of using electronic means of electronic communication in a mixed way, leaving the old procedure of meetings and votes so that residents have a greater choice.
Effective argument language
Patience and reasonable, reasoned speaking are very important when communicating with the population. Vilma Samaitienė says that it is best to speak the language of laws and arguments. “When communicating with residents, it is important to know the laws well and explain them simply. Patience is also crucial for housing managers. There are also very angry calls, but the main thing is to have patience and to provide information in a reasoned way. We can all have many opinions, but the laws define and flesh everything out,” says Vilma Samaitienė.