The National Housing Agency (NHA) of Albania was established in 1993 and is a state-owned enterprise. It is legally mandated to conduct the following tasks:
NHA was established with the technical assistance of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and a World Bank loan to complete the construction of some 6,000 – 7,000 apartments. These were started before 1990 and were left unfinished after the fall of the communist regime. NHA was initially established to manage this loan, the state budget for housing, and other sources of financing. However, in the years following its establishment, NHA accumulated funds from selling apartments to the beneficiaries and subsequently began to use these funds as a revolving fund. This enabled NHA to become self-funding and thereby financially independent from government from 2007 onwards.
NHA now uses accumulated funds to provide new affordable housing and funds from selling this are then invested in new apartments. To start a new project, NHA signs an agreement with the mayor of a city. An agreement is signed only if the municipality assigns a plot of land to NHA. In addition, the municipality may also be required to invest in the land-servicing infrastructure required to construct the dwellings, and to reduce related municipal taxes and fees. The selling price of dwellings reflects the cost of construction, including the price of the land and 4 per cent overhead costs, and of land servicing.
Purchasers of dwellings are selected by municipalities on the grounds of low income and ability to afford the dwelling purchase price. Purchasers can buy with a bank loan or repay NHA in instalments. Loans and repayment in instalment agreements generally have a term of 15-25 years and attract 3 per cent interest.