In many parts of Western Europe, local authorities have privatized public sector housing over the past few years. Now the Czech Republic is following suit, and many local authorities are offering their tenants the chance to buy their flats. Given the legacy of communism, this is a complicated process, and not everyone is benefiting from the changes. One Prague district has chosen an unusual way of dealing with the problem - with its very own lottery.
The number of poor people and rent dodgers has been growing rapidly in some areas in north Bohemia. The reason - availability of extremely cheap housing. Property owners from around the country have found a cheap and simple way of getting rid of problematic tenants. At the same time, it is a solution for poor families who can no longer afford to pay high rents in Prague and other big cities. Local authorities have expressed concern about the development and are seeking ways to fight it.