MOBA housing SCE

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Description of what the network is about

MOBA housing SCE is a network of pioneering housing cooperatives from Belgrade (Pametnija Zgrada / Ko Gradi Grad), Budapest (Rákóczi Collective), Ljubljana (Zadrugator), Prague (Sdílené domy / První Vlaštovka) and Zagreb (Cooperative Open Architecture) with support from the Cooperative for Ethical Financing (ZEF), urbaMonde, World Habitat, Socialni inovatori, FairCoop and Heinrich Böll Foundation. The network responds to similar problems of access to housing and affordability of housing in our cities, has come up with a common approach based on the co-operative model, and has innovative solutions in our work of introducing a novel approach to housing. The network believes that working together can overcome these obstacles and make a breakthrough for a new model of cooperative housing! In 2017, the network decided to join forces and meet regularly to build the necessary pool of expertise, capacities and (financial) instruments to launch their pilot projects in our region. Since 2020, the network has been incorporated as a European Cooperative Society (SCE).

Societal problem they want to address

Housing across South-Eastern and Central-Eastern Europe is in crisis: Housing is almost entirely left to market forces, but many households do not have the necessary capital to acquire an apartment nor qualify for a mortgage. Households struggle to cover basic housing expenses, with the result that they are under threat of disconnection from utilities (heating, electricity, etc.), and may even be threatened with eviction. Many people are unable to afford their own apartment. Particularly for young people, this leads to an unhealthy dependence on older generations, increasing the existing pressures that cause many to leave the country. Across the region, new co-operative housing developments are being explored by pioneering groups. They respond to this housing emergency – unaffordability, speculation, negligible amount of social housing – and now take the lead in reinventing affordability of housing from the bottom up.

Societal domain


Basic aim of network

The MOBA model puts affordability of housing first, while taking away the pressure from individuals in resolving their housing condition. It is centered around a cooperative of inhabitants that collectively develops, finances, maintains and operates a multi-apartment building. Because it controls the entire trajectory (and does not need to make profit), the resulting apartments are much more affordable for the inhabitants. The cooperative owns the real-estate as well as takes on the necessary loans to pay for its construction. Participating households or individuals (the members of the cooperative) thus collectively own their building. And keep it there, because individual members or households cannot speculate with their apartment – in that way it is not just a safe and affordable option for the first generation, but for many generation of its inhabitants to come. As an inhabitant of a MOBA apartment, you pay a one-time entry fee (deposit) and a monthly contribution (“rent”) that covers both the costs of the apartment as well as a predetermined amount for the utility costs (water, electricity, etc.) – so you always know what you are up to. In short: collective ownership: real estate is bought or constructed and owned by the cooperative credit is assumed by the cooperative, thus handling risks in a more robust way cooperative membership gives access to stable long term use of a unit members contribute financially (on a monthly basis) and through participation (investment) affordable monthly costs ensures that all units are sustainably affordable for their inhabitants MOBA is based on experience from other recent co-operative housing developments: so while it is new to South-Eastern and Central-Eastern Europe, it has been already tested elsewhere in Europe.


Making housing more affordable from the bottom-up in South Eastern Europe.

For more information

MOBA web page

Entry done by

Aleksi Salmela