Eastern Europe News

Russian State Duma Approves Controversial Housing Demolition Scheme

The Russian State Duma has approved a controversial law requiring the demolition and resettlement of thousands of Soviet era apartment blocks after the third reading in an overwhelming positive vote. Russian President Vladimir Putin asked the mayor of Moscow to carry out the plan to upgrade housing in the capital metropolis.

The bill requires that tenants evicted from their property to be resettled in nearby housing. There were over 130 amendments submitted to the bill and most of the were adopted.

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Russian state news agency TASS reports, In the beginning of 2017, Vladimir Putin ordered Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin to tear down the so-called ‘Khrushchevki’ – five-story apartment blocks – constructed to ease the acute housing problem in the 1950s and 1960s under Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The residents of demolished low-rise housing units will be offered to move into newly-built apartment blocks. According to preliminary estimates, the capital is set to renovate over 25 million square meters of real estate, or ten percent of its housing projects, within the next 10-15 years.

The effort has created tension in the Russian capital with some demonstrations springing up in the areas affected. This has not however stopped the plan from moving forward.

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