MOBA housing network – a network of pioneering housing cooperatives for Eastern Europe

Belgrade , Serbia Finance, Land use, Local social sustainability, Relations to stakeholders, Target groups of housing


The MOBA Housing Network is a group of pioneering organisations from Budapest, Belgrade, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Prague. They aim to start the first community-led housing cooperatives in their countries, and for these to be replicable models that can challenge the inadequate provision of housing. The Network was born out of the realisation that each project was facing the same structural constraints and had similar experiences. By working together, they could help each other overcome common barriers. MOBA now breaks ground with a novel cooperative approach in Central-Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.


Issues tackled

The Network will be a catalyst to develop pilot projects, by:

  • collectively creating access to tailored financial resources (from investors or funders);
  • sharing skills, knowledge, specific expertise (relating to financial, legal, organisational aspects and housing cooperative models);
  • challenging and changing unsupportive legal frameworks, and influencing policy and practice; and
  • raising visibility of their mission and attracting further support and skills.

Actors involved

  • Ko Gradi Grad Belgrade
  • Rákóczi Collective Budapest
  • Zadrugator Ljubljana
  • Sdílené domy Prague
  • Cooperative for Ethical Financing Zagreb
  • Socialni inovatori
  • urbaMonde
  • Heinrich Böll Foundation
  • FairCoop
  • World Habitat


he 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 but for many generations 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.

Why it works

  • 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 inhabitantMOBA 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.