Modernizing multi-family residential estates in operation for about 40 years is a multifaceted and complex process. In Poland, these assets cannot be considered "degraded" yet, they are not an obvious object of deep retrofit actions. The literature on the subject and the author’s own research confirm that the management of Polish housing estates is carried out with the focus on current repairs and improving energy efficiency by insulating the buildings’ envelopes. Poland lacks long-term programs to implement retrofitting actions based on the analysis of both social and technical needs and aimed at improving the estate’s sustainability parameters. The author puts forward an original approach to the programming of sustainable housing stock retrofit based on the PEARS model (PeopleEnvironment-Actions-Resources-Sociology). The paper focuses on the social research part of the model and presents the case-based analysis – the results of the recurring survey conducted to provide input for sustainable planning of the estate improvements. The paper is a summary of over ten years of research and studies on practices of maintenance of infrastructure and buildings, changing user needs, and user opinions on the possible directions towards sustainable housing.
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